Lizzy & Jane is the first book that I have read by author Katherine Reay. I was pleased to discover how much I love her writing style. She has a wonderful ability to make the characters really come alive in the story. The sisters, Elizabeth and Jane, have built up a lot of resentment between each other over the years. The story of how they come together and learn how to let go of past hurts is at the center of what this book is about.
I really liked Elizabeth’s (Lizzy’s) character. She is a chef and the author did such a beautiful job of convincing me that food preparation truly meant everything to Lizzy. The thought process that Lizzy uses to put together the dishes that she creates is central in this story and so interesting to read about. When she ends up traveling across the country to spend time with her ailing sister, it is not an easy decision. These two always end up at odds with each other. Their interaction throughout the book, and the way that sometimes one or the other would just “lose it” and say something incredibly insensitive, seemed very realistic.
I liked Jane, too, even though she had some control issues in life. I felt sorry for all she was going through and felt that both she and Lizzy grew so much in this book. I simply loved the progression of this story. Every bit was worthwhile and added to the overall enjoyment for me.
Nick was fabulous. He certainly handled many things with grace and frequently ended up being the support that Lizzy needed. He was kind and caring, and not pushy. But even he had some issues to work on in his personal life. There were things he hadn’t allowed himself to really hand over to God. All of the main characters grew so much by the end of the book. This story is also packed with wonderful side characters that will pull at your heart. These characters, such as Cecilia, added so much to the book. I enjoyed this story from the beginning to the end. Plus, it has such a cute cover! (5 stars)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through BookLook Bloggers, in exchange for an honest review.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Lizzy and Jane never saw eye to eye. But when illness brings them together, they discover they may be more like Austen’s famous sisters after all.
Lizzy was only a teenager when her mother died of cancer. Shortly after, Lizzy fled from her home, her family, and her cherished nickname. After working tirelessly to hone her gift of creating magic in the kitchen, Elizabeth has climbed the culinary ladder to become the head chef of her own New York restaurant, Feast. But as her magic begins to elude her, Paul, Feast’s financial backer, brings in someone to share her responsibilities and her kitchen. So Elizabeth flees again.
In a desperate attempt to reconnect with her gift, Elizabeth returns home. But her plans are derailed when she learns that her estranged sister, Jane, is battling cancer. Elizabeth surprises everyone—including herself—when she decides to stay in Seattle and work to prepare healthy, sustaining meals for Jane as she undergoes chemotherapy. She also meets Nick and his winsome son, Matt, who, like Elizabeth, are trying to heal from the wounds of the past.
As she tends to Jane’s needs, Elizabeth’s powers begin to return to her, along with the family she left behind so long ago. Then Paul tries to entice her back to New York, and she is faced with a hard decision: stay and become Lizzy to her sister’s Jane, or return to New York and the life she worked so hard to create?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Katherine Reay has lived all across the country and Europe and has just moved with her family to Chicago. She is a writer, wife, mom, runner, and, most randomly, a tae kwon do black belt. Her debut novel, “Dear Mr. Knightley,” is a contemporary story with a dash of Jane Austen and other nineteenth century writers thrown in for the fun of it. Her second novel, Lizzy & Jane, just released and is a story of hope, reconciliation, family and some seriously good food.