The Restaurant Critic's Wife

The Restaurant Critic's Wife

by Elizabeth LaBan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503947757
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 01/05/2016
Pages: 306
Sales rank: 839,360
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth LaBan is the author of The Tragedy Paper, which has been translated into eleven languages, and The Grandparents Handbook, which has been translated into seven languages. She lives in Philadelphia with her restaurant-critic husband and two children.

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The Restaurant Critic's Wife 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by is an unusual novel. Lila Soto is pregnant with her second child. Lila, Sam (her husband), and Hazel (their three-year-old daughter) have just moved from New Orleans to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sam has the chance to do his dream job—be a food critic! Sam and Lila met with Lila was in New Orleans for Addison Hotels and Resorts and Sam was doing research for an article on gumbo. When Sam saw a job opening at the Philadelphia Record for a food critic, he applied. Lila had to give up her job in order to relocate with Sam. They are moving into a suburban neighborhood called Colonial Court where the mothers stay home and take care of their kids. This will be a new experience for Lila. Sam is immediately wrapped up in his new job and experiments with ways to hide his identity. He also wants Lila to make sure not to tell anyone what he does (actually he would prefer it if she stayed in the house and did not associate with anyone for fear of exposure). Will Lila be able to cope with two kids, a new home, and Sam’s wacky behavior? Lila is going on a new journey and she will have to find a way to cope (and move forward). I did not find The Restaurant Critic’s Wife to be an enjoyable novel. It was a little weird (and boring). I believe the book is supposed to be humorous but the writer did not pull it off. One thing I did not get is if Lila never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, why did she have kids (Lila loves working and wants to continue to work)? This book was lacking (like a good plot). I got tired of hearing about Lila’s everyday life (getting up, her wardrobe, breast feeding the baby), Sam’s attempts at disguises and how he does not pull them off (that was actually the only funny part in the book), their many neighbors (I could not keep track of them), and the many food descriptions (the author described every food item they ate). I did not like any of the characters. Lila is someone who does not know what she wants (she really should have decided before having two kids) and Sam who is very childish and selfish. Sam was so obsessed with keeping his identity a secret. I wanted to know why he did not write the reviews under a pseudonym (of course, then there would not be a book). It was just an odd book. I give The Restaurant Critic’s Wife 2 out of 5 stars (I did not like it). I received a complimentary copy of The Restaurant Critic’s Wife from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A year in a marriage with small children, work drama and moving to a new city made this book an interesting read and felt so real - almost memoir like. The husband of the couple has moved the family to Philadelphia, PA to become the new restaurant critic and has brought his wife and young kids and has asked his wife to keep a low profile for his job. The wife has become a stay at home mom with two young kids and isn't happy with this major life change. And the story begins . . . Although I couldn't relate with the kid drama, I have three dogs so its close, but not exact, I still felt like I could relate and this book sort of hit home. My husband and I have very different jobs and they impede on our spending time and its definitely a lifestyle, so it was interesting to read about how other career paths can absolutely impact your partner's life. To be honest there were a few moments, I wanted to slug Sam and have him respect his wife more in the "job" in the home that she was doing, but I enjoyed the honesty of the book.
rumisshuggs More than 1 year ago
I was given this book by Net Galley in return for an honest review. I enjoyed the book considering it's not a normal read for me. The title does fit the book since the book is geared more about what Lila does day to day after giving up her career for her husband. It was an enjoyable story even more so since I do work in and around the location that the characters are based. It was fun trying to figure out which restaurants the author was talking about. What I really liked about this book is that it wasn't dragged out. The author kept your interest since the story wasn't centered completely around Lila and Sam but around the neighborhood they lived in. Would I read anything by this author again. Sure.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
Ugh. This book started out with a really negative tone from the first chapter, and unfortunately it didn't really get any better. Lila is married to Sam, the new restaurant critic for one of the Philadelphia newspapers. And he takes his job VERY seriously. So seriously that he won't let her talk to anyone or do much of anything for fear that his identity will be discovered. I hated Sam. And I wanted to like Lila, but she drove me crazy. I've mentioned before that I don't like weak characters. Before their move to Philadelphia, Lila was a high powered crisis manager at a hotel chain. She handled everything and was apparently the best at her job. But yet she couldn't seem to tell her husband that she needed friends or was going crazy spending her days alone with their children. I couldn't stand it. I think this story was meant to be kind of comical, and Sam was certainly ridiculous at times with his disguises. But it just made me groan. If it hadn't been a book club pick, I would have stopped about half way through. I had hoped that the end might make it better, but it didn't. I wasn't satisfied at all with the conclusion because there wasn't really any resolution. Aside from a few small moments that Lila had with her secret friends or with her kids, there wasn't much I enjoyed about this book. Although I did find the analysis of food somewhat similar to how I analyze books, so I could kind of appreciate that. In the end, I rushed through the second half of the book just to get it over with. After finishing the book, I read the bio about the author and found out her husband is a restaurant critic. I really hope he isn't anything like Sam.
DaneWeimMama More than 1 year ago
I finished this book 2 days ago and I'm still not sure what I think about it. I honestly am not certain as to what the point of the story was. They were interesting characters in the book and the food descriptions are awesome but I couldn't get over what a big jerk the husband was. I know I get caught up in what I am doing but I'd never act the way he does and I would never expect my husband to pander or completely change the way he lives his life to appease me. I did enjoy the authors writing style though. ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
  The Restaurant Critic's Wife,  Elizabeth LaBan    Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre:  women’s Fiction There were parts of this book I loved – and parts that really got on my nerves, so much so that if Sam and Lila were in front of me I would have wanted to shout at them, smack them, tell them to grow up. So, they fell in love, along came Hazel, and then its all change. Sam gets the job of his dreams while Lila has recently given hers up for motherhood. They move to a new city, and that’s hard with a toddler, and then Lila’s pregnant again so its all change in the Soto household. All that change is tough, and along the way the Lila and Sam that met and fell in love we in danger of getting lost. Lila has become whiny, though in a way I understood, she’s gone from being in a crisis driven job where she was well respected and always saving the day, praise all round, to motherhood in a new town where she knows no-one. ( No one praises you for being able to feed a screaming, teething baby, entertain a toddler, get the house clean and make the family dinner. And know instantly where there’s a clean shirt and spare socks!) Sam’s being a jerk, obsessed with his new job and insisting really she can’t make friends because he’s put so many vetoes on her. Well, when you first chat to someone new how do you say “do you or your family or friends own of work in a restaurant?” You can’t can you, so how is she supposed to meet them. He’s put a ban on the new neighbours too, so she’s isolated and becomes almost introspective. Her daily life is full of banality and tedium so she snaps up the slightest chance for anything new, and of course then things turn out wrong. Sam is obsessive about his secrecy, and I understand a bit – if people knew who he was it would affect his work. Perception is all, it doesn’t matter if he says he’s unbiased, even if he and his wife are good friends with the owners, even if his daughter is a playmate of the head waiters family or something...( I’m using hypotheticals here not experiences from the book BTW) There’ll always be those convinced he’s writing a good/bad review for other reasons than honesty and integrity. ( A bit like book/product reviewers eh? I’ve been accused a few times of bias as I get ARC’s and products for free. ) He just needs to suck it up a bit more though, as there will Always be those who won’t believe he can’t review with integrity ( as I’m learning). He doesn’t though and his disguises, funny at first, get more and more odd. For someone who doesn’t want to draw attention to himself surely they would make it worse? ( kitchen staff convo : have you seen that guy on table seven, with the fake moustache and the weird glasses? - Ah that's Sam Soto in another one of his disguises!!)    In among that though is a real story about coping with change, about how easy it is to grow apart, how hard families really need to work to stay together. There’s historical family issues on both sides too affecting their actions. Then there’s the neighbours and friends, and we see towards the end that the face they present to the world isn't really the one that’s true, they we are more than just one facet. That human nature part made interesting reading for me. I enjoyed seeing how slowly they were falling apart yet able finally to talk, to work together instead of pulling in opposite directions. I remember how isolating life can be with babies and small children, how some days seem to revolve around the
bookluvr35SL More than 1 year ago
This book is about Lila, Sam and their 2 children. Lila stops work to be a stay-at-home mom at her husband's insistence, but is unfulfilled now. Sam is a food critic who is paranoid and controlling. The story was a little slow to get into but it did make for a good read. I wish I hadn't spent the entire book hating Sam & wanting to shake Lila for being so passive when it was clearly making her miserable. Lila did start to find herself towards the end and I was cheering her on. I have to say, the food descriptions left my mouth watering and the struggle she had with trying to deal with life as a mommy had me smiling and nodding.
Holly More than 1 year ago
The Restaurant Critic's Wife is the tale of what goes behind the scenes of being a food critic's wife. Lila Soto used to to be a highly successful business woman until Sam came into her life and changed everything. Now with two kids, a husband who works hard at disguising the fact that he is a food critic and living in a whole new town, life isn't easy for Lila. The fact that Sam is a food critic makes Lila hard to be friends with anybody in fear of letting anyone know who she is married to. After Lila makes friends with a server named Sebastian who fast becomes someone she can trust but when a picture starts circulating of Sam in the restaurants, she quickly blames Sabastian but only to find out that it's someone way closer to her that spilled the beans about Sam. With a old boss wanting her to come back to work and a old boyfriend stopping by, makes Lila realize that this life might not be easy but it's perfect for her! This book will have you wrapped so into it, that it makes you stop doing what you are supposed to be doing just to read what is happening with Lila and Sam. I never thought about a food critic or what a food critic's family goes through until reading this book and makes you appreciated them for doing a job that not everyone wants to do. I also loved how Elizabeth wrote this book like a memoir but still being a fiction book and not many people can pull that off!! Thank You to Elizabeth LaBan for writing a fantastic book and for making me want to read more books by you!! I received this book from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.