Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay ★★☆☆☆
Summary: Fancy food chef Lizzy moves from New York to Portland to help out her sister Jane who is going through chemo. And by “help out” I mean she prepares food for her sister who, seeing as she’s going through chemo is not really interested in eating. Yep, that’s about how well Lizzy listens to Jane’s concerns.
My thoughts: I had high expectations after quite enjoying Reay’s last novel, Dear Mr. Knightley; but Lizzy and Jane was disappointing. Lizzy is a pretty unlikeable protagonist because she’s incredibly and annoyingly self-absorbed. I wanted to just shake her for most of the novel. Lizzy, are you really going to sulk for days because Jane didn’t eat the food you prepared? Even though she clearly just had chemo? And can’t help getting nauseous? I think someone needs to shout in your ear that NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU! And another thing that made me wonder about Lizzy is that she prepared food for people based on the sort of books they enjoy. Which sounds kinda cool until you realize that she’s making meat pies for her sister who’s a Jane Austen aficionada. I love Victorian novels as much as Jane, but there is no way I’m eating mutton. Aside from that, about all I can say is that the book was a very easy read and there were a few cute moments.
Recommended: if you’re in the mood to huff or shout aloud at a character or want to read a fluffy book about cancer.
Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster ★★★☆☆
Summary: Jerusha, spunky orphan, is noticed by an orphanage trustee and is sent to college to develop her writing skills. The only stipulation? That she write him letters. And so this epistolary novel is born.
My thoughts: a short, fun, fresh novel. Jerusha is infectiously lively and cheerful; I brightened up just reading the book. I definitely disagreed with her, though, when it came to her thoughts on God, church and faith. And yet – it’s fascinating to me that the characters actually do attend or skip church and discuss the ins and outs of church life. That’s something that’s missing from many contemporary novels. Take, for example, Lizzy and Jane. The title characters both believe in God and share some “we’re not given more than we can handle” type conversations, but church clearly is not a part of their regular lives. Something to chew on . . .
Recommended: for anyone looking for a quick and absorbing read.
I’m linking up with Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick Lit today; you can check that out if you’re interested in more book reviews.