Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

December 23, 2014

Lizzy & Jane {Katherine Reay}

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Lizzy & Jane {Katherine Reay} | #bookreview #bookbloggers #amreading
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?

This book is definitely not the easy-to-read-make-you-happy romances that I typically tend to read. It is deep. It has meaning. It will leave you thinking.

We meet Lizzy as she is on the brink of having a complete life melt down. She doesn't realize it, but it is very obvious to the reader that she is about to lose everything that is important to her.

We don't know much about Jane until we really get into the story and begin to see who she is and what she is going through - an older sister, fighting cancer, and doing her best to hold on to the people in her life.

Lizzy and Jane are complete opposites. They have a history that is revealed as the book progresses and you realize that they have never been close, or particularly fond of each other. 

Lizzy ends up in Seattle thanks to her dad, and steps into the role of caregiver to Jane. It is intended to only be for a very short time, but Lizzy begins to get comfortable in the life that she is living in Seattle. As she learns more about the city and makes friends with people that come into her life, it is hard to believe that she would actually consider moving back to her life in New York.

But this book is about so much more than just two sisters who can't seem to want to have anything in common. It is about letting go of what you think is important in your life and allowing things to unfold naturally. It is about seeing the real person behind the people that you come in contact with each and every day. It is about following your heart and seeing where life leads you.

This book was a hard one for me to get through. It is emotionally deep, but also such a wonderful story that you want to be sure to not miss a single word. It left me crying in several places, and ended with happy tears to see where life sends Lizzy.

This was my first read by Reay, but I'm going on a hunt for her previous book for sure.

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a lifelong affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked in not-for-profit development before returning to school to pursue her MTS. Katherine lives with her husband and three children in Chicago.