Thursday, December 11, 2014

Lizzy and Jane

I loved Katherine Reay's debut novel, Dear Mr. Knightley. But her second novel, Lizzy and Jane, is even better. I am sometimes hesitant to try a second novel by an author. I worry I may have read their best one and all the others may leave me unsatisfied. NO NEED TO WORRY with Katherine Reay.

The story deals with some heavy issues including the sister relationship, losing a parent, and breast cancer. But deftly woven in are fascinating details about haute cuisine from one character who is a chef. And the smaller characters absolutely shine.

I love that one sister is single and career oriented, while the other is married with kids. They begin with a distant relationship and as the story progresses, a very realistic process occurs between them. It doesn't turn all hunky-dory right away. I love that the story takes place mostly in Seattle. I love the idea that going home is hard, but going home can also remind you who you are. And I love the idea she brings up about family needing to love AND like each other. And not getting the order mixed up. Reay even manages a romantic thread which is wholly satisfying.

The names of the sisters come from Pride and Prejudice, a favorite of the characters' mom. And there is much to offer any reader who loves Jane Austen sprinkled into the dialogue as well as internal monologue by the main character. But even if you don't love Austen, the story completely stands on its own merits. I hope you'll give this a try - there is much to love in Lizzy and Jane. And while you're at it, try Reay's first novel too. You will not be disappointed.

Do you ever hesitate to try a second novel by an author you've just discovered? Do you "binge read" and try everything one author has to offer before moving on to another? Leave a comment and we'll enter you to win this week's giveaway.


  1. I do understand the hesitation. I also get very excited when I discover a ''new'' author. There is trepidation in adding subsequent books to your reading list.

  2. Sometimes you do wonder if the second book can possibly be as good as the first but in many instances, it is just as good or even better. Thank you for the great post!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  3. I once hesitated to buy a second novel, but I did. I liked the topic and I'd met the author. I wasn't real excited by the story and hesitated even more to buy the third. I did and, oh my goodness, it was by far the best and earned a permanent place on my shelf.

  4. I select books for the church library so I'm always on the lookout for new authors to add to our collection. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.
    Janet E.

  5. Very nice review. I've not read the first book in the series, but must say that this one sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    I guess I'm the opposite from many. I tend to look forward to more books by an author with one extraordinary first book.