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Monday, March 14, 2016

Book Review: The Restaurant Critic's Wife By Elizabeth LaBan

This is a book review of The Restaurant Critic's Wife by Elizabeth LaBan that was published by Lake Union Publishing on 5 January 2016.

Elizabeth LaBan lives in Philadelphia with her restaurant critic husband and two children. Elizabeth is a freelance writer and editor and teaches fiction writing to university students. She has written a young adult novel, an activity book for grandparents and ghost written two further books - this is her first novel for adults.

As the title suggests this is the story of Lila who's husband Sam is a restaurant critic. They use to live in New Orleans and then moved to Philidelphia so that Sam can review all the places to eat in the area - the setting of the story flicks between both towns.

I imagined this story to be about fancy restaurants and delicious food but it was more a family story of a couple with young kids and their day to day trials and tribulations.

Lila's story of being a mother was very realistic and upfront and I liked how she kept it real.

Instead of memorable dining experiences there were a lot of rushed and uncomfortable dinners with a husband who didn't talk to anyone and acted very strange and mysterious in a bid to stay anonymous to the staff in restaurants in order to give an honest review.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the husband was so self centered he expected his wife, who once had a high powered job but gave it all up to be a Mum, to have no life, no friends, no job, nothing but to live inside in hiding to protect his identity for the sake of his job.

The chapter introductions with the food reviews were good but I wanted more food discussions and there simply wasn't enough!

Whilst this is not an autobiography, it can't be overlooked that the author's husband is himself a restaurant critic ..... I can only hope for the author's sake that her husband is nothing like the one in this book!

I recommend this book to readers with an interest in the serious side of food reviews.

I give this book 2 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd give up a bottle of the worlds best champagne for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

The Restaurant Critic's Wife can be purchased from the author here and Lake Union Publishing - Amazon

Sharing my book review on Good Reads here and Netgalley

Disclosure:  NetGalley partner with bloggers such as me to help promote authors and their books and I was given this ebook published by Lake Union Publishing to review. As always, all opinions are my own.

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[Image via Elizabeth LaBan

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  1. Eek! The husband sounds AWFUL. The poor wife in this book! I am not sure if I would read this, not sure if I could relate to it at all. I do have a great book to recommend to you that I am reading right now tho- Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist. I LOVE it. I am not sure how hard it is for you to take US recipes tho and make them there, but it is a collection of stories and each chapter has a delicious recipe at the end. I may try them ALL!!!!


    1. He does sound awful Carrie I hope he's just a made up character! Now that sounds like just the book I would read, I will look it up, thanks so much. I do cook US recipes I just adapt them to the ingredients I can find :) Thank you so much! x


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