Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Lizzy and Jane Paperback – November 4, 2014
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“Reay’s second Jane Austen-inspired tale is a layered and nuanced story of faith and hope, enriched by complex but relatable characters. Recommended for lovers of character-driven women’s fiction.” (Library Journal)
“Okay, I’m just going to say it upfront. This isn’t so much a review as it is a love letter to the uber-talented Katherine Reay. I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Lizzy and Jane since I forlornly turned the final page of Katherine Reay’s critically acclaimed, beloved, double Carol Award-winning debut, Dear Mr. Knightley last year (sidebar, if you haven’t read Dear Mr. Knightley run, do not walk, to your nearest bookstore for a copy). . . . “Bookstores are packed with novels starring characters battling with cancer. Where Katherine Reay’s storytelling sets itself apart is with this – she has managed to write a book that is all about cancer, yet at the same time not about cancer at all. The stars of the show here are Lizzy and Jane – their taut relationship, their fears, regrets and failures, their hopes and dreams and yes, their grappling with the disease that has already cost them so dearly. “Classic literature lovers will again enjoy the way Reay seamlessly weaves in literary references – from Hemingway to Austen to Dickens. Not in a snobbish, showboating way, but with a deft hand that adds color and depth to the story. . . . “Buy this book. Savor this book. It’s poignant, it’s witty, it’s got romance and drama and complex characters and dialogue and it’s clever and it makes you think and sigh and, yes, even swoon and the food, oh the food. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to start again from the beginning as soon as you’ve reached the end because it has so many layers, subtleties, and depth, it’s impossible to absorb it all in one mere read. As I knew it would, Lizzy and Jane has firmly enshrined itself as one of my ten must-reads for 2014. Seriously, why are you still reading this? GO AND READ LIZZY and JANE INSTEAD.' (Novel Crossing)
“A Rising Star in Contemporary Fiction!” (Family Fiction)
“Elizabeth Hughes is a respected chef in New York, but she's lost her passion and knows her restaurant is suffering. Fighting burnout, she decides to visit her sister Jane, who is battling cancer. As Elizabeth and her sister struggle to reconnect after years of misunderstanding and betrayal, there are very real moments of pain and vulnerability. In her own words, Elizabeth is ‘bristly, rude, and terribly self-absorbed,’ and her sister is more of the same. Although Lizzy and Jane were named for Jane Austen's most famous sisters, this story tracks with Persuasion, in both caustic tone and the encompassing theme of a life more fully lived. Filled with food and literary food references, this book will appeal to literature aficionados, foodies, and any lover of a good romance.” (CBA Retailers + Resources)
“Deeply moving and intensely meaningful, Reay's latest gives readers an intimate look into the lives of sisters. Elizabeth's character is raw and real – her desire to live a meaningful life and her authentic fear of rejection will help everyone identify closely with her journey. Delicious descriptions of food and the closeness that it provides to others gives the novel even more depth.” SUMMARY: After the ordeal of her mother's battle with, and death from, cancer when she was a teenager, Elizabeth has spent the following years making a name for herself as a chef while keeping her distance from her father and older sister, Jane. Yet Elizabeth has lost her edge with her restaurant and decides to visit her family on the west coast. Jane is undergoing chemo for cancer, and as much as Elizabeth wants to avoid the situation, she must find a way to help Jane and figure out the next steps in her own life.' (RT Book Reviews, 4-1/2 Stars TOP PICK!)
“In a rich feast for the senses---both literary and culinary---Reay’s (Dear Mr. Knightley) sophomore novel introduces two estranged sisters who rediscover the meaning of family 15 years after their mother succumbed to cancer. Master chef Elizabeth, or Lizzy, has lost her touch at work and finds her New York restaurant slipping out of her control. Needing time off, she journeys back home---to sit in the oncology ward with her sister, Jane, who is now fighting breast cancer. The stressful circumstances force them back into a real relationship, an uncomfortable reunion in which they confront their past and contemplate their uncertain futures. Jane Austen books and delicious foods remind them of surprising and comforting truths imparted to them by mother. Jane’s husband and children, her fellow chemotherapy patients, and her colleague Nick play important roles in helping Lizzy find the source for the peace she desperately craves. Reay treats readers to a banquet of flavors, aromas, and textures that foodies will appreciate, and clever references to literature add nuances sure to delight bibliophiles. The relatable, very real characters, however, are what will keep readers clamoring for more from this talented author.” (Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries—who provide constant inspiration both for writing and for life. She is the author of three previous novels, and her debut, Dear Mr. Knightley, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist, winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut, and winner of two Carol Awards for Best Debut and Best Contemporary. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, runner, and tae kwon do black belt. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine and her family recently moved back to Chicago. Visit her on line at katherinereay.com Facebook: katherinereaybooks Twitter: @Katherine_Reay
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I like it, but it just feels like there's something missing for me. I don't know exactly what, but it lacks something that could give it a good boost. I think part of the problem is I'm not terribly fond of Lizzy, or Elizabeth as she's sometimes called. She just doesn't stand out to me. She doesn't seem like a person that is happy, and I know she's supposed to be struggling, but even in the scenes where she is supposed to be happy and the writing says that she is happy, I don't feel like she really is. And she really was not nice to her sister. I get that Lizzy was mad that Jane didn't spend time with their mother while she was sick, but I don't know that Lizzy should have said some of the things she did while Jane was sick. I mean, they had fights while Jane was at the hospital having chemotherapy. That just doesn't seem right to me. Another small issue I have with the book is that the title led me to believe Pride and Prejudice would play a big role in it, but it didn't. That is one of the least mentioned Austen books in Lizzy and Jane. But that's not really a huge issue, though.
What I did like about the book was Cecilia. It was so nice to see such a caring nurse that really wanted what was best for her patients. She was also a good friend for Lizzy; someone totally opposite from her that brought out the best in her. And even though Lizzy kind of got on my nerves through a lot of the book, it was nice to see her take the time to understand why Jane and Tyler weren't eating and find a way to make food that tasted good to them. It's a neat concept. As someone who has been surrounded by cancer patients my entire life, I don't know how realistic it is, but if it is, I think it's amazing.
All in all, Lizzy and Jane may not have been one of my favorite books, but there are certain elements of the book that I liked. If you're a big fan of contemporary women's fiction, then you will probably enjoy this book.
Our point of view character, Elizabeth, is a chef in New York whose whole life revolves around her restaurant. When her cooking begins to lose its touch and the restaurant owner brings in another chef to help spice things up, Lizzy feels threatened and in need of a break. She heads back to her home state of Washington and ends up staying with her sister Jane, who is battling cancer and in the middle of chemotherapy. Jane's cancer is a constant reminder of all that stands between the sisters, because their mother went through the same journey fifteen years earlier. Lizzy felt like Jane walked out on their family during that hard time, but she herself has kept her distance since then. After so many years of hurt and heartache, it seems impossible to bridge the gap that has grown between them.
When Jane's husband Peter has to leave for business trip, Lizzy makes arrangements to lengthen her stay and help out. Jane is not able to eat much because her treatments have completely changed her taste buds, and Lizzy takes this as a personal challenge to find new flavors to appeal to Jane's palate and enable her to keep food down. Drawing inspiration from Jane's favorite literature, Lizzy's chef instincts take over as she creates many new dishes.
While helping Jane, Lizzy is developing relationships with her niece and nephew, the nurses and other patients in the cancer ward, and Jane's handsome neighbor Nick. Her own world and dreams are so insular that Lizzy doesn't know how to relate to these people, many of whom are in very vulnerable places in their lives. As Lizzy tries to recover her cooking touch and confirm her plans to return to New York, she finds she may be leaving a very large part of her heart in Seattle.
It took me a long time to really get into this story. Part of that was knowing the seriousness of the subject matter, and part of it was that it's not easy to make an emotional connection with Lizzy as a character. I also had a hard time with the verbal darts that both the sisters, and especially Lizzy, would throw towards each other or anyone else in their way. As someone who loves words and finds them affirming, to watch them used over and over as hurtful weapons made me sad, and thankful that my family tends towards the opposite end of the communication spectrum. While "Dear Mr. Knightley" held lots of literary references which were easy to relate to, that wasn't true with "Lizzy & Jane." I know many people who are talented cooks for their homes and communities, including many who are classic literature fans, but I can't see myself or any one of them creating whole menus based off references in the works of Austen, Dickens, or Hemingway. As that would be so far beyond our skill set, it actually pushed me out as a reader instead of drawing me in.
I will say that the book became more engaging the farther I got into it, and there's no doubt that Reay is a talented author. While I can't quite share the sentiment of those who placed "Lizzy & Jane" on their list of favorite books from 2014 because the book just had so many dark and serious overtones, I did enjoy it and look forward to Reay's next release. I'm glad she's finding her place in the publishing world and making classic lit shine in new ways.
While I love this and every other Katherine Reay book I've read, they do confuse me a bit with the way the characters seem to develop in faith, but never seem to accept salvation, as if that isn't part of their growing faith. I'm curious about the author's stance.
Most recent customer reviews
I won this book in a giveaway and enjoyed reading it. Lizzy and Jane were two sisters whose mom died of cancer, causing misunderstandings and hurt that...Read more