The Restaurant Critic’s Wife

By Elizabeth LaBan

3.5 out of 5 stars

Lila Soto is the mother of two young children. She used to work for a busy hotel chain, something she loved and thrived in, but she’s moved from New Orleans to Philadelphia with her husband Sam who is a restaurant critic. Sam needs to be anonymous for his job and he stresses (constantly) to Lila on how she should act. He doesn’t want her associating with anyone, especially if they are in the restaurant business or knows someone who is. He doesn’t really want her talking to the neighbors. Going out to dinner with him is an experience. He often wears disguises that don’t always work. She has to eat the food he picks for her to taste. There is this whole section with boxed macaroni and cheese that drove me insane.  Lila does make friends though and some don’t work out perfectly but she starts to realize she needs more for herself too.

The story is told over the span of a year. A lot happens but at a very slow pace. I had the flu while I was reading it so maybe that had something to do with my attitude about it but I think the biggest problem for me was Sam. I did not like him at all. I wanted to throw my Kindle across the room a few times because of what a jerk he was. Oh, he had his redeeming moments but I didn’t see the same ones that Lila did. I liked Lila but she was someone who was so hesitant that I wanted to give her a push. ( I sound so violent!) That is also the sign of a good book if I got so involved. It kept me reading and the ending was very satisfying. (But I still don’t like Sam.)

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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