I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Restaurant Critic's Wife by Elizabeth LaBan
Published by Lake Union Publishing on January 5, 2016
Genres: Domestic Life, Family & Relationships, Humorous, Literature & Fiction, Love & Romance, Romance, Women
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Lila Soto has a master’s degree that’s gathering dust, a work-obsessed husband, two kids, and lots of questions about how exactly she ended up here.
In their new city of Philadelphia, Lila’s husband, Sam, takes his job as a restaurant critic a little too seriously. To protect his professional credibility, he’s determined to remain anonymous. Soon his preoccupation with anonymity takes over their lives as he tries to limit the family’s contact with anyone who might have ties to the foodie world. Meanwhile, Lila craves adult conversation and some relief from the constraints of her homemaker role. With her patience wearing thin, she begins to question everything: her decision to get pregnant again, her break from her career, her marriage—even if leaving her ex-boyfriend was the right thing to do. As Sam becomes more and more fixated on keeping his identity secret, Lila begins to wonder if her own identity has completely disappeared—and what it will take to get it back.
The Restaurant Critic’s Wife was a smart mom lost in her marriage tale. Lila is a mother of two in a new city and staying at home with her kids for the first time. Her husband has his dream job as a restaurant critic and is super paranoid of anyone finding out what he looks like. He is obsessed to the point of demanding Lila not make friends with anyone unless she knows they have no ties to the food service industry. The world building was well done and the pacing was fast and just right. The characters were well fleshed out and in some cases that was a detraction. Sam, the husband, was an outright ass. He was so singularly focused on his job that he was neglectful to his family and downright cruel at times. Lila was so upset at his actions that she acted out and did the exact opposite of what her husband wished. At times their interactions were downright childish and made me cringe. But the heart of The Restaurant Critic’s Wife was sweet and that overcame the temporary dislike of the main characters. I enjoyed that Lila was portrayed as a smart educated woman and not just as an offshoot of her husband. I also liked that she was made better by using her brain. She was not a simpering weakling and that was very nice to see portrayed in a “mommy” book. Elizabeth LaBan created a smart and funny read in The Restaurant Critic’s Wife.
Favorite lines – “The most ironic thing in all of this is that you bill yourself as a crisis manager. The funny thing is, you don’t seem to manage our crises particularly well. If anything, you cause them.”
Biggest cliché – “If I sit here silently they will all know how upset I really am.”
Have you read The Restaurant Critic’s Wife, or added it to your TBR?