Lizzy & Jane  -     By: Katherine Reay
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Lizzy & Jane

Thomas Nelson / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1401689736
ISBN-13: 9781401689735

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Publisher's Description

Lizzy and Jane couldn’t be further from Jane Austen’s famous sisters for whom they are named.

Elizabeth left her family’s home in Seattle fifteen years ago to pursue her lifelong dream—chefing her own restaurant in New York City. Jane stayed behind to raise a family. Estranged since their mother’s death many years ago, the circumstances of their lives are about to bring them together once again.

Known for her absolute command of her culinary domain, Elizabeth’s gifts in the kitchen have begun to elude her. And patrons and reviewers are noticing. In need of some rest and an opportunity to recover her passion for cooking, Elizabeth jumps at the excuse to rush to her sister’s bedside when Jane is diagnosed with cancer. After all, Elizabeth did the same for their mother. Perhaps this time, it will make a difference.

As Elizabeth pours her renewed energy into her sister’s care and into her burgeoning interest in Nick, Jane’s handsome coworker, her life begins to evolve from the singular pursuit of her own dream into the beautiful world of family, food, literature, and love that was shattered when she and Jane lost their mother. Will she stay and become Lizzy to her sister’s Jane—and Elizabeth to Nick’s Mr. Darcy—or will she return to the life she has worked so hard to create?

Author Bio

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 Facebook: katherinereaybooks Twitter: @Katherine_Reay

Editorial Reviews

“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.”
“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.'
“A Rising Star in Contemporary 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.”
“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.'
“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.”

Product Reviews

4.6 Stars Out Of 5
4.6 out of 5
4.6 out Of 5
(4.6 out of 5)
4.7 out Of 5
(4.7 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.7 out Of 5
(4.7 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Michigan
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    another delectable read from Katherine Reay
    March 10, 2016
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This was a delicious book - but like some necessary ingredients in my favorite chocolate chip cookies, parts of this book are very bitter and unpalatable by themselves. I ached to read of the raw emotions Lizzy and Jane tried to sort through, as well as the terrible chemo sessions and lassitude brought on by Jane's cancer. And Lizzy's wounds - physical as well as emotional, future as well as present - really upset me. But I loved this book for its honesty and the sheer pleasure of meeting someone who enjoys food as I do!

    When the story opens, we meet Elizabeth Hughes, a New York chef with great credentials, but little fire. Shortly after her boss brings in a second, more energetic chef in an effort to revitalize their menu, Elizabeth flees to Seattle. On the surface, she goes to help her sister, Jane, deal with her illness, but she is also hoping to escape the pressures and disappointments of New York and "find herself." As she admits to her sister later, "I needed to cook and you had a warm kitchen." But in the process of helping Jane (and others), Elizabeth begins to thaw out and realize that the most important part of life is being, not doing. And of course a very tender romance is tangled up in this new perspective, too. Can she face her deepest fears and find fulfillment in a fresh start? And will it be in trendy New York or low-key Seattle?

    Katherine Reay's books seem to be full of challenging topics that I might otherwise avoid. But like a talented cook, she mixes realistic personalities and situations in just the right proportions to create a feast for her readers. This isn't a book to pick up lightly (I confess I renewed it for a second three weeks from my local library before even starting it), but if you enjoy a non-traditional love story with a dash of faith, I heartily recommend this read to you.
  2. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    February 8, 2016
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Initially, I really liked this book. Thought it was 5 stars. It moved along. I felt the tension between the sisters was probably "real-life-like." The descriptions of the peoples reactions to fear, when facing cancer, were very interesting to me. I assume they were accurate to real-life. The food comments were amazing. The detail of what it takes to be a professional chef. This was all good.

    However, it bothered me that Elizabeth stayed overnight on Nick's couch when she was coming home from the ER. She did this so as not to wake Jane or her family. The stay at Nick's was "clean." No sex. No getting undressed. No going to the bedroom. It was clean. But, it bothered me that she stayed there, period. If one of my kids did this I would be coming un-glued. As a Christian who tries to practice a Christian lifestyle, I wouldn't want my kids doing this.

    I quit reading the book shortly after this point. I didn't finish the book.
  3. Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Feasts and Flavors Abound!
    April 18, 2015
    Rebecca Maney
    Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Abruptly leaving her New York City restaurant to help care for her very ill sister, Elizabeth heads for the west coast; never imagining that her extraordinary culinary skills would be so essential to a loved one undergoing chemotherapy. Intending to remain a short time with her sister Jane, Elizabeth extends her two week vacation and not only tries to heal a strained family relationship, but finds herself entwined with another challenge, Nick; Jane's very handsome and intriguing coworker. Slowly Jane's love of cooking begins to return, and her creativity in the kitchen becomes a ministry to other cancer patients. Ultimately, Jane faces an impending decision, return to New York or . . . .. . . . . .

    "Lizzy and Jane" is a little difficult to interpret. As an avid reader with deep appreciation for classic literature, the characters, quotes and story lines are not easily recalled; making the constant references within this novel subtly disconcerting. The incessant "food talk" is also a bit distracting for the non-professional, even those with a hearty appetite for well-flavored, inter-national entrees. The story, while extremely well-written from a technical perspective is introspective, to the point of being overwhelming, at least for this reader. However, there is a strong flavor of hope that runs deep within the pages of this book; that God in His goodness can work all things together for good; even between sisters torn apart by tragic circumstances, and for that reason alone, "Lizzy and Jane" is a "feast".
  4. Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 17, 2015
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Oh. My. Austen!

    This story is delightful and beautifully emotional. I immediately was drawn into the family conflict. Reay makes you care about her characters in a way that it sneaks up on you. It's not until it's time to set the book down that you realize how attached you have become. I didn't expect to enjoy the story as much as I did. I loved this book so much that I already dearly miss the characters.

    Though I would never admit to having favorites, I dearly like Lizzy's character. Oh, I was so happy to watch her grow and change over the course of the story. She's funny and caring, but deep down she's broken. This story is her journey to healing. It's a journey of forgiveness and of familial love. Her sister, Jane grew on me as well. Jane experiences her own growth in this story, but it's different from Lizzy's.

    And that's why, I think, I love this book so much. Like other books I've happened to read recently, this book is full of heart and soul. There's meaning in the pages. The characters are relatable. The story is heart-twisting. While yes, I can say there's "romance" in this story, it's far from the focus, which is so refreshing. It proves you don't need a central romance for a good story. All these things mentioned make up a wonderful book and this one is certain to remain on my shelf to be re-read. I highly recommend it.

    I bought this book, my opinions are my own.
  5. Texas
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A feast!!
    January 26, 2015
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I've read the reviews all ready shared, and I find I have nothing new to add because the territory that this is a wonderful book has been covered. I do agree with the reviewer who said there needs to be at least one recipe, and I add, more than one, included!
Displaying items 1-5 of 14
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