Author, Elizabeth LaBan’s third novel, THE RESTAURANT CRITIC’S WIFE (Lake Union Publishing) has been getting a lot of buzz, since it’s January 5th publication. It’s pretty helpful when BFF, bestselling author, Jennifer Weiner blurbs you on the cover:
“A tender, charming, and deliciously diverting story about love, marriage, and how your restaurant-review sausage gets made. The Restaurant Critic’s Wife is compulsively readable and richly detailed, a guilt-free treat that will have you devouring every word.” —Jennifer Weiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Good In Bed, Best Friends Forever, and Who Do You Love
But what’s really delicious about the THE RESTAURANT CRITIC’S WIFE is Elizabeth LaBan delivers on the hype. You can’t help but like Lila, Sam their kids Hazel, Henry, all the quirky characters where they live on Colonial Court and the menagerie of others that come and go throughout the novel. I found THE RESTAURANT CRITIC’S WIFE to be a delightful novel I gobbled up.
“Something is rotten at Via Rizzo. It’s not necessarily the food, which was tasty though often inconsistent. It’s the false advertising. The menu claims the pasta sauce is crafted from an old family recipe, when in fact it is factory made. It went down easy enough; my wife finished her plate. But I knew better and the chef didn’t deny it. Why lie? I asked him in a phone interview. “People don’t want the truth,” he said. “They want an illusion of romance. It tastes better.”
Sam Soto, Food Critic
Restaurant Critic, Sam Soto, his wife, Lila and family move to Philadelphia to take a job as a restaurant critic. He’s obsessed with his job, and keeping his anonymity to the point of paranoia and that the entire family not mingle with anyone connected, in any way with the restaurant business. In addition, he wants his once high-power career wife to stay at home with the kids and “stay under the radar.”
One of the perks of being a critic is free meals, so they often go out and Sam puts on absurd disguises which Lila thinks draw attention to him. Lila makes friends with others kid’s moms not knowing they’re connected to the food business, complicating Sam’s fear of being “outed.” She starts doubting every decision she makes.
All the talk about the yummy food is merely the icing on a one-of-a-kind-cake kind of a novel. In addition to being a clever romantic comedy, THE RESTAURANT CRITIC’S WIFE focuses on difficult marital issues, such as couples managing duel careers, raising children in this complicated world, how friendships fit into couples relationships, moving to another city for career and your spouse, to name a few.
You may want to read THE RESTAURANT CRITIC’S WIFE on a full stomach or have some wine and cheese, along with a nice chilled Sauvignon blanc, because I’ve never read a novel with more food described in it – described so well that it made me hungry!
Though it’s not an autobiography, it can’t not be mentioned that Elizabeth LaBan’s married to a restaurant critic. “This book wouldn’t exist without my husband,” she says, “who brings excitement, adventure, love, and great food into our lives every day, and has always been open to my writing a novel about a woman who is married to a wacky restaurant critic.” But, even if her main characters are fictitious, there is no denying that she draws on aspects of her own life. For all things ELIZABETH go to http://www.elizabethlaban.com