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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Includes an exclusive author interview with Pandora Sykes.

Your ability to change everything - including yourself - starts here.

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.

But it's the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant Nobel-prize-nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later, Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother but the reluctant star of America's most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth's unusual approach to cooking ('combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride') proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn't just teaching women to cook. She's daring them to change the status quo.

Meet the unconventional, uncompromising Elizabeth Zott.

©2022 Bonnie Garmus (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Lessons in Chemistry is a vibrant and original story of hope and staying true to yourself. Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant and brimming with life and generosity and courage." (Rachel Joyce) 

"A book that sparks joy with every page." (Elizabeth Day) 

What listeners say about Lessons in Chemistry

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I laughed and cried. A masterpiece.

I absolutely loved this book on so many levels. For sure it satisfied my feelings of injustice in our patriarchal society, it’s nailed to the mast for all to experience… but it’s a great tale too. Loveable characters and original plot. All round winner.

9 people found this helpful

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One of the best audio books!

Truly an amazing story. Very moving with great characters and an usual theme. Loved Six-thirty! I want to read more by this author but this is her first novel! Will definitely be subscribing to Apple TV to watch the series when it’s made!

9 people found this helpful

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Brilliant - tell your friends

This book should be essential listening for all especially men 😀. It is set in the 50’s but the situations it covers haven’t really changed for lots of women or disadvantaged groups . A lot of the lines are laugh out loud hilarious but there are also shocking scenes . Also a surreal dog and precocious child which you just roll with even though a tad unbelievable . All in all a joyous experience . Save it for a long journey or gardening! ☀️👍

8 people found this helpful

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Deserves every success

Absolutely loved everything about this. Original and engaging, totally enjoyable. Beautifully drawn characters, quotable lines, lovely language. Amazing for a debut, I wish there were more from Ms Garmus.
Don’t miss it.

6 people found this helpful

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Had me at the first page.

An excellent book, that I just couldn’t stop listening to! Sad, funny, and tragic, you can’t help but love Elizabeth Zot, Mad, Harriet, Wakely, Dr Mason, Mr Pine and even Miss Frask, but Six-Thirty steals the book!
I defy you not to enjoy this wonderful story.

So well read by Miranda Raison, I need to find other books read by her!

5 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

I didn’t want this book to end. Wonderfully crafted characters and a gripping story with plenty of humour. Absolutely love 6.30. Totally worthy of the hype. And a fantastic narrator too. I will definitely listen again.

4 people found this helpful

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Stunning.

This book is life affirming and life changing. Simply wonderful. Give it to everyone you know.

3 people found this helpful

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Really enjoyable you laugh and cry

Amazing book and normally I am a crime reader. I found it very moving. The performance from the reader brought it to life. Would highly recommend

3 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

A stand-out novel for so many reasons. It’s quite exceptional, an absolute must-read.

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

After such glowing reviews, I thought this had to be good, but I found it tedious. It’s an interesting subject but what ought to feel significant felt lightweight and twee in places. The author can clearly write, but the main character did not engage me or feel believable. I got half-way and couldn’t face another 4 hours of listening, so abandoned it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ann
  • 17-08-22

Fantastic

I loved this story yes as some critics have pointed out some parts are not realistic - but it’s a story with an incredibly important message and a lot of hope I loved it…

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-08-22

A book for our time

Terrific, surprisingly poignant & speaks to women of all ages. A crazy ride rich with character. If you were a young woman in the sixties you will relate. All other readers will gain great insights. Don't forget to listen to the author interview at the end!

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  • Valerie
  • 07-08-22

A Chemist Reviews Lessons in Chemistry

Don’t let the title put you off, this is NOT a chemistry textbook but a fascinating human drama of a smart, beautiful, strong female protagonist who happens to be a chemist in the 1950s. Elizabeth Zott is one of the most interesting, unique, and memorable characters I have ever read about. The supporting cast of characters including a precocious daughter and even more precocious dog make the book even more interesting. The scenes set in labs and the chemical jargon are well handled and realistic without putting off the lay reader. The metaphor for how chemistry is the science of transformation, and how that mirrors real life is brilliant. Kudos to Bonnie Garmus. Can’t wait to see the TV series.

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  • Web_mistress
  • 30-07-22

Had to return, didn't manage even half of it

Nice description, great reviews but I totally missed what was funny. Coming from over 100 years of egalitarian culture, I found the treatment of female scientists, working women in general and smart young girls, as described in the book, disgusting and tragic. Background story took so long that I just got so bored with bullying and tragedies that could not take it any longer. Maybe it is funny later on, but I did not get there. Nothing bad about performance, but performance cannot save the story.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 27-07-22

A fantastic book!

This was probably one of the best books I've read/ listened to! Original, great characters, insightful and really funny too. Simply loved it!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-07-22

Loved this book

Excellent book with Excellent narration! This was a very uplifting read. A well researched book.

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  • Jennifer Smuts
  • 12-07-22

Loved this book!

I loved everything about this book... well written and well researched and enjoyed the excellent narration.

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  • Colleen
  • 04-07-22

fabulous storytelling

one of my favorites being Six-thirty. good complex characters who drew you in, or repelled you, depending on the intention. I loved it

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-05-22

Absolutely Wonderful

This is easily the best book I've read in years that resonates on so many levels. Also the narrator was perfectly chosen for this book. Loved it!!!!

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  • Sharon
  • 09-04-22

A must for any woman who has been interrupted for no good reason

A timely book given today's challenges in society for any person who has had to endure prejudice.