Thursday, January 28, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway - The Restaurant Critic's Wife by Elizabeth La Ban

Book Synopsis
What could be better than being married to a restaurant critic? All those amazing meals at the best restaurants…pure nirvana, right? Well, Lila Soto, the heroine of Elizabeth LaBan’s charming new novel, The Restaurant Critic’s Wife (Lake Union Publishing; January 5, 2016), might tell you otherwise. Sure the food is heavenly, but the downsides are considerable—especially being married to a man who is obsessed with his job and paranoid to the point of absurdity about being “outed” from his anonymity. Add to the scenario the fact that Lila has given up her own career to follow her husband’s job to a new, unfamiliar city, and that she is now a fulltime stay-at-home mom—a gig she never aspired to, despite loving her kids—and you begin to see why Lila is doubting every life decision she’s ever made.

Though it is not an autobiography by any means, it can’t be overlooked that Elizabeth LaBan is herself married to Philadelphia restaurant critic Craig LaBan. “This book wouldn’t exist without my husband,” she says, “who brings excitement, adventure, love, and great food into our lives every day, and has always been open to my writing a novel about a woman who is married to a wacky restaurant critic. For the record, Craig is not obsessive or controlling like Sam—and Craig did not tell me to say that.” But, even if her main characters are fictitious, there is no denying that Elizabeth draws on aspects of her own life to lend a delicious verisimilitude to the novel. 

The Restaurant Critic’s Wife is a charming portrait of the complexities of life that many women face when dealing with their marriages, their children, their friendships, and their careers. All the talk about exquisite food is merely the icing on a one-of-a-kind cake.


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble



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My Review 


I will admit it: I'm a foodie. I love cooking, reading cookbooks, reading about food, dining out, and reading foodie fiction. I've often thought it would be great fun to be a restaurant critic for a vegetarian magazine. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to review The Restaurant Critic's Wife.

This book was a terrific read. I enjoyed reading about the life of Lila and her husband, restaurant critic Sam. Their trips to restaurants, sometimes incognito, were fascinating. 

I really liked Lila as a protagonist. I empathized with her as she settled into life in a new city, especially as she left her job to be a stay-at-home mom. Sam was difficult at times (controlling!), and a big part of the novel centered on their marriage. 

This book felt real to me. It had humor, it had touching moments, and it had multi-dimensional, interesting characters

I would recommend The Restaurant Critic's Wife to other readers who enjoy contemporary women's fiction or a foodie novel. 


Author Bio
Elizabeth LaBan lives in Philadelphia with her restaurant critic husband and two children. She is also the author of The Tragedy Paper, which has been translated into eleven languages, and The Grandparents Handbook, which has been translated into seven languages.

Connect with Elizabeth


Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

Win a copy of the book.  Giveaway ends 2/4.  Winner will be notified by email, and will need to respond within 48 hours.  The book will be mailed by the author or her publicist.  Open to all readers in the U.S. and Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

35 comments:

Kim Amundsen said...

Sounds like a good read.

Sandy Klocinski said...

Can't wait to read this

scaro said...

Enjoyed your review. Sounds like a good read.
Carol Smith
penelope223@yahoo.com

Carl Scott said...

I've seen this book around, it is really cool that the author really is the wife of a restaurant critic. That makes it even more fun for me. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

C said...

Thank you for hosting this giveaway!

Deborah Wellenstein said...

I am always looking for a good book-thanks for the opportunity!

carol said...

this looks like a good book and would love to win it..

Daniel M said...

sounds like a fun one! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

S said...

Thank you for the contest. :)

Wendy Caddy said...

Looking forward to reading this.

Aleksandra Nearing said...

Thanks for the chance to win. I really enjoy reading and this looks like a good book!

Dianna said...

I think it's interesting that some parts of the book might be influenced by the author's own life.
Dianna

Tracy Shafer said...

This sounds like a great read!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm so pleased you enjoyed this one! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Amber said...

I'm quite interested in reading this book now. It sounds interesting and as simple as the title is I love it!

- amber y

Brenda Guardado said...

I think I will like this take on settling into a new place. New beginnings are always nice and something we can all relate to. I think it can be fun to start fresh and get a new perspective on life.

Kristie said...

I have never heard of this book. I'm always looking for new authors! Thanks for the honest review! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Stacy said...

My friend is a big foodie and this would be a perfect birthday gift for her.

Annamarie Voss said...

Sounds like a good read, I'm in he market for a new good book.

grammypennyann said...

Would love to read this book!!~

Annmarie Weeks said...

This book looks interesting...and original! I will definitely be reading it!

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

I have read many reviews of this book and I just love the storyline.

Elaine said...

Interesting concept =). I'll have to check it out.

Jessica and Rory! said...

great giveaway!

Misty said...

I have been dying to read this book. I heard it was a good read. (jozywails@gmail.com)

Emi Pearce said...

Interesting story to be married to a restaurant critic.

Lisa Jagodzinski said...

Looks like a good read

Tina Woo said...

This looks like a fun read, I've always dreamt of being a food critic!


ps - I LOVE the background on your blog. It's so bright and perky.

Renee Rousseau said...

I have always liked to eat but lately I have been creatively incorporating new and healthy recipes into my report e(or rather pinterest page!) The Restaurant Critic's Wife is now on my must read list! Thanks for sharing.

Birdhouse Books said...

Tina, thanks so much for your nice comment on my page wallpaper!

Renee, I hear you about Pinterest recipes -- I love to pin them, too.

Laura H said...

Sounds like a fun book!

Betty C said...

Oh, what fun to eat at fabulous places but not at the cost of an insecure marriage. The book sounds very interesting. I'd love to read it.

Tandi Cortez-Rios said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Would love to read this!

Ashley Schein said...

This sounds like it would be a really good book to read.

Angela Saver said...

Thanks for the chance at this! I think I would really enjoy it!