Friday Favorites: Lizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay


Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted here, that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that you love, recommend, and want to tell others about. Just pick one and link up to my post each Friday to share. You can use the graphic I used above, the other one here, or your own.

I read a book this week that tore my heart up, but was so beautiful and I absolutely loved! It's my FF pick for today:

Lizzy & JaneLizzy & Jane (ARC)
by Katherine Reay
Christian Contemporary Romance
October 28th 2014 by Thomas Nelson

Summary

Sometimes the courage to face your greatest
fears comes only when you've run out of ways to escape.


At the end of a long night, Elizabeth leans against the industrial oven and takes in her kingdom. Once vibrant and flawless, evenings in the kitchen now feel chaotic and exhausting. She's lost her culinary magic, and business is slowing down.

When worried investors enlist the talents of a tech-savvy celebrity chef to salvage the restaurant, Elizabeth feels the ground shift beneath her feet. Not only has she lost her touch; she's losing her dream.

And her means of escape.

When her mother died, Elizabeth fled home and the overwhelming sense of pain and loss. But fifteen years later, with no other escapes available, she now returns. Brimming with desperation and dread, Elizabeth finds herself in the unlikeliest of places, by her sister’s side in Seattle as Jane undergoes chemotherapy.

As her new life takes the form of care, cookery, and classic literature, Elizabeth is forced to reimagine her future and reevaluate her past. But can a New York City chef with a painful history settle down with the family she once abandoned . . . and make peace with the sister who once abandoned her?
  

My Review

I'm still trying to figure out how to put in words how heartfelt and full of struggles and love Lizzy & Jane was. This book had my heart after just a few chapters. I connected and felt for the characters, their situations, and the challenges before them. They felt real, imperfect, and beautiful. What a fabulous sophomore release from Katherine Reay!

Elizabeth and Jane. Such a lot of history and potential there in their relationship. Their relationship was almost one of two people who were acquaintances, except they're sisters who sometimes forget that they love each other. There was so much bitterness and heartache between them. Then you throw in Jane's cancer and it just raises the stakes in their relationship. I loved both of them, although I have to admit that Elizabeth was my favorite character in this story, as she should be seeing as she's the main character. I loved her bravery in facing what she didn't want to, even though sometimes she ran away, she came through in the end.

I couldn't get enough of the secondary characters in this story either. I loved Jane's husband and kids. I loved Jane's friend and Elizabeth's love interest and his son. I loved the other chefs and Elizabeth's roommate. I loved the other cancer patients and the nurse who was so amazing. I loved how different pieces of Elizabeth's life had roles to play and how each aspect of the story worked together. I loved all the talk of food and recipes. It was so much fun and also amazing to see Elizabeth go when she was in the zone. I loved the sweet romance. It was sweet because it had the potential for more and just included some kisses, but I would also say that there was a lot of depth there. Both characters had an uphill battle in a lot of ways and I loved that they were friends first.

I especially loved that the author let the characters screw up. She let them rant and rave. She let them struggle. Who wouldn't under the circumstances? Who wouldn't wonder what they had done to earn cancer and, if they ended up not making it, who would be there for their kids? These characters hurt, but they also found solace in their family and friends, and in God. I loved how inspiration was woven through, but it was in a way where the characters were wondering where they stood, what they believed, and where they could look for peace.

Lizzy & Jane was a beautiful story. It was well written and full of love, friendship, courage, family, and learning that sometimes where you belong isn't always where you thought it was. This story touched my heart almost bringing me to tears, but also made me smile and ended so sweetly. My only criticism would be that I would have loved for the ending to be longer. I wanted to see more of what happened in Jane's and especially Elizabeth's stories.

Content: Clean

Source: From the publisher through NetGalley, which did not affect my review in any way.

About the Author
Katherine Reay

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in "Focus on the Family" and the "Upper Room." Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. "Dear Mr. Knightley" is her first novel.



Do you have a favorite to share this week?


4 comments

  1. This sounds amazing! Great review!

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  2. It was really fun and I'm looking forward to the next two books which I'm thinking I'll like even more.

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  3. Mary Connealy9/30/14, 1:37 PM

    Tressa, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for the nice review!!!!

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  4. Thanks for stopping by, Mary! I think The Husband Tree will always be my fav of yours, but I think this series is going to give it some good competition. Happy writing! :)

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