Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Lizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay
Elizabeth is a top chef in her own restaurant in New York, but she has lost her zing. Feast has been her life for years, but now the man who financed her restaurant has brought in another chef to hopefully help Elizabeth get that zing back.
Disheartened by the need for another chef and being encouraged to go "home" to visit her sister battling breast cancer, Elizabeth embarks on a quest to find her zing and repair relationships with those she left behind.
Elizabeth left home soon after her mother died from cancer. She is not prepared to deal with all of the emotions that this trip home brings her, not to mention the friction that still stands between the sisters.
Jane doesn't make it easy for Lizzy, but Lizzy makes it her mission to try and find the right foods that will give her sister the desire to eat. Slowly the sisters work through old resentments and hurts, but Lizzy has built such a wall around her emotions, will there be any way that this relationship can be healed?
Lizzy & Jane brought such a roller-coaster of emotions to me. One minute I would be laughing at some antic or other and then in the next moment I would be crying along with the characters as they dealt with the reality of cancer, their past and Lizzy's journey of self-discovery. Just when I would think okay, things are going to start getting better old resentments would cause another rift between the sisters. I have to say that that kind of frustrated me until I really thought about it. Old hurts just don't go away because apologies were made. It took years for Lizzy to build her walls, of course it is going to take a while for those walls to crumble. The story was also a little difficult to read because Jane is battling breast cancer. At the moment I have a friend in the same battle. Trips to the infusion center are a weekly trip for me. It is hard to see so many people battling this awful disease called cancer. While helping Jane to find the right types of foods to tempt her to eat Lizzy manages to find her zing once again. I loved how the author could make the reader "see" the excitement on Lizzy's face as she prepared foods for people. There was also a bit of romance in the story. Nick is a single dad who manages to be an anchor for Lizzy while she tries to put her life back together. He definitely makes it hard for her to go back to New York. I loved all of the food talk! Mixing spices and finding foods that match personalities, who knew that food was such an art or really a science? I was entertained, and my heart was warmed while reading Lizzy & Jane.