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Lizzy and Jane

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  5,537 ratings  ·  911 reviews
Lizzy and Jane never saw eye to eye. But when illness brings them together, they discover they may be more like Austen’s famous sisters after all.

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
Paperback, 339 pages
Published October 28th 2014 by Thomas Nelson (first published October 1st 2014)
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Candace Lazzaro I felt this was a book that a teenager could read and handle. As other readers have mentioned, it does have some medical situations that can bring emo…moreI felt this was a book that a teenager could read and handle. As other readers have mentioned, it does have some medical situations that can bring emotional reactions. However, it's a fairly realistic portrayal of sickness, death and recovery without being extremely depressing. It gives hope. I feel that physical illness is also a metaphorical depiction of the two sisters' relationship and works toward how a bad situation can sometimes bring about "healing" and hope.
Danielle {halfdesertedstreets} There's some reference to cocktails and other beverages, but no drunkenness.…moreThere's some reference to cocktails and other beverages, but no drunkenness.(less)

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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  5,537 ratings  ·  911 reviews

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Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If this were, say, a pictorial review, it would look something like this:

All the buzz you have heard about Katherine Reay’s Lizzie and Jane is 125% true. I want to hug this book and tell everyone to read it. Right now. Sigh…where to start…where to start? I’ll start by saying this is most definitely one of my favorite books of 2014.

Y’all. I laughed out loud, I wiped away tears quite often and then thought of certain parts and started laughing all over again. I finished this book in one sitting.
Katherine Reay
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I read this one earlier than I got to the last one... Read every word. :) And thoroughly enjoyed it. :)
May 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars (average). A thoughtful, introspective story, but too slow to consistently hold my interest. I was also consciously aware that certain moments were supposed to elicit an emotional response, but they never did. The final, divisive conflict felt completely out of context and only made me confused at a point when I should have been the most invested in the characters and their plight. Several long passages describing recipes or cooking procedures had me skimming to get back to the action, ...more
Andrea Cox
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jane Austen fans, folks looking for hope, people who feel things deeply.
by Andrea Renee Cox

Can a book about food be about more than the food?

Katherine Reay shows us that the answer is definitely YES with her novel Lizzy and Jane. This book went much deeper, especially thematically, than her debut, yet she retained that lighthearted banter I so enjoyed in Dear Mr. Knightley. The thing I most like about Ms. Reay's work is that, no matter what themes or characters or problems or whatever the books contain, she always presents a heart journey. It isn't just an emotional
DNF at 57%

I really just don't like this book. I just don't.

I don't understand it, I don't get, I don't like Elizabeth, and I thought all the food and cooking would make my mouth water, but my stomach has heaved more times than I've felt delighted by the food.

I'm not attached to anyone (although I rather liked Nick) and I don't care what happens next.

This was so different from Dear Mr. Knightley, which I loved. Hopefully the next one will be better, but this one is a pass. :(
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Among the inspirational, Christian fiction crowd, I’m not sure there were many books more anticipated than the follow up to 2013’s debut author Katherine Reay’s lovely epistolary novel, Dear Mr. Knightley. While the two share no connection story wise besides being seeped in Austen-esque loveliness, readers couldn’t wait to see what Reay had next for us. Myself included. Lizzy & Jane tells the story of the titular sisters who are at odds with one another ever since their mother died years earlier ...more
I love a book that makes me examine my own thoughts or feelings! This was a book that definitely had some thoughtful moments. It was a fun read with all the literature nods to Jane Austen, Hemingway and even the classic, Wind in the Willows. I wasn't able to relate to all the bitterness and anger that was present in the various relationships in this story, but I do have a sister I absolutely adore, and it made me love her even more. I thought the scene at the waterfall, between Jane and Lizzy, w ...more
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is inspired by the relationship between Elizabeth and her sister, Jane, in Pride and Prejudice. Lizzie is a chef in New York and she goes back to her hometown of Seattle because her sister, Jane, is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. While Lizzie helps take care of Jane, she resolves old issues in her relationship with her sister and expands her horizons with the help of her sister's friends and neighbors. ...more
Julie Graves
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
Elizabeth is a top chef in her own restaurant in New York, but she has lost her zing. Feast has been her life for years, but now the man who financed her restaurant has brought in another chef to hopefully help Elizabeth get that zing back.

Disheartened by the need for another chef and being encouraged to go "home" to visit her sister battling breast cancer, Elizabeth embarks on a quest to find her zing and repair relationships with those she left behind.

Elizabeth left home soon after her mother
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book more than Dear Mr Knightley.

The book was a roller-coaster of emotions which took you through the ups and downs of dealing with hurt, fear, forgiveness, reconciliation of relationships and loss. The relationships between all the characters felt so real, I could picture them as people I would know. Even though the book deals with cancer and hurt, there was also a lot of fun and enjoyable sections.

I loved Lizzy. She saw more in the situations than other people, for example she
Carly Ellen Kramer
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Elizabeth is a talented chef whose personal distractions are interfering with her cooking, which in turn is interfering with the profits of her otherwise admiring boss. Against Elizabeth's wishes, a celebrity chef is brought in to temporarily assist in turning things around. Elizabeth doesn't cope with this well, and takes a hiatus from the restaurant.

At this point, the story seemed to invoke plot lines reminiscent of Barbara O'Neal, whose food fiction novels I greatly admire. However, when Eliz
This story was drastically different than the aughor's first book. Really, I don't know how else Reay would have followed a book so unique as "Dear Mr. Knightley"...except with a book as unique as "Lizzy and Jane!"

The basic similarity between the two is the affirmation of the importance of family relationships--and the incredible love of literature. Yet this one is based also on the love of food, and what our food says about our lives and vice versa. Don't read this if you're hungry, because her
Library Queen
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, 2019
I really enjoyed this book! Not quite as good as Dear Mr. Knightley, but I liked the ending better. I liked that it was romantic, but that it wasn't all about the romance, more about the sisters and their relationship. I even liked the food parts, and I don't even cook! ...more
Carissa (Regency Woman)
Two sisters, one nearly 10 years older than the other. In a fit of rebellion, Jane left home, leaving a void in her younger sister, Lizzy's life, a void that only widens when her mother dies of cancer. As soon as Elizabeth is of legal age, she's gone too, following her dreams to be a big-time chef in New York City. She has her restaurant, Feast, the potential for a romantic match the restaurant's financial backer, Paul. No need for family. But now her skills as a chef are slipping and she's losi ...more
C.B. Cook
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I read this book last month on a trip and I'm only now getting around to reviewing it. SILLY SILLY PROCRASTINATING ME.

But can I just honestly say this is one of the most almost-tear-jerkers I've read in a while? Books rarely make me cry, and... well, this one didn't, but still. I was reading it in an airport, so I couldn't cry if I wanted to. It was a super sweet story, and touching. Katherine Reay did a wonderful job developing the characters and making me fall in love with them. They were a l
Syrie James
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book! Katherine Reay’s Lizzy & Jane is a beautifully written, deeply moving novel that is a feast for the senses. When a gifted chef at a trendy New York restaurant takes a break to visit the sister who needs her, she thinks she’s there to search for the missing spark in her cooking. Instead, she discovers what’s really missing from her life: family, friends, self-awareness, the healing power of forgiveness, the joy of making a difference, and love. In short, everything that rea ...more
Christine Indorf
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You did it again Katherine Reay, this book was amazing!! I can really relate to this book. Lizzy ran away from her family after watching her mother die from cancer comes back to help her sister journey with cancer. My Mother died of cancer 9 years ago and I understood so much what this book was trying to say. It was a beautiful testimony to the sisters both trying to redeem themselves and and the journey of cancer. I just loved this book. Again, I would have given it more than 5 stars, it was th ...more
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
To say that I was excited to read this book would be a vast understatement. After devouring Dear Mr. Knightley last year, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that whatever Ms. Reay wrote next I would read. In fact, at only two books in, I'm thinking to place her on my list of authors I'll read no matter what! Because she is just that good. :)

This story is real. By which I mean, the characters feel real and true. No cardboard cutouts, no easy happy-ever-afters, but real people dealing with heartach
Kristie Helms
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was ridiculous to the extreme. I bought it as a plane read, and quite honestly should have put it down without finishing after the 2.5 hour flight.

The plot was barely sketched out and the dialogue so ridiculously stilted as to be almost laughable. One of the main constructs of the book was that the main character, a chef, was able to make individualized meals for people based on what books they read -- and what the characters in those books ate. Someone who loved Hemingway loved Spanis
Nov 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Though I did enjoy Lizzy and Jane, I did not adore it in the way I did Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. I love "fresh start/new kind of life" narratives and am always interested in the sister dynamic. I am more than into Jane Austen, food, literary references, references to food in literary works, and faith. However, to have all of these elements woven into one story sometimes seemed a little much and a little forced. Some of the dialogue between characters did not ring true to me. ...more
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: austen-inspired
Lizzy – a thirty-three-year-old gifted New York City chef who seems to have temporarily lost her magic in the kitchen. Her restaurant isn’t packed, her dishes aren’t as focused and vibrant, and her financial backer thinks she is distracted by events in her personal life.

Jane – Lizzy’s older sister. A mother of two, who, at the age of forty-one, is battling the very terrifying and unpredictable disease known as cancer. While Jane’s cancer isn’t aggressive and was diagnosed at an early stage it ha
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review originally appeared on Austenprose:

Anyone with siblings can tell you how tumultuous of a relationship you can have with them. There are times where you love them to death for being a shoulder to cry on or a voice of reason. Then there are the times where they think they know everything and refuse to see you as your own individual. Katherine Reay explores the complex relationship of two sisters undergoing some intense situations in both their p
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
SUMMARY: Sometimes the courage to face your greates tfears 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 thekitchen now feel chaotic and exhausting. She's lost her culinary magic, andbusiness 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. N
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
My first thought is what a brave second novel. What must be more frightening than a debut novel? Releasing a second novel after a wildly successful first novel!

Was Lizzy & Jane as good as Dear Mr. Knightly? In my opinion, it was not as strong. Is Lizzy and Jane a novel to read? Absolutely!

I say Katherine Reay is brave because Lizzy and Jane is so different from Dear Mr. Knightly and why venture far from what worked the first time?

Lizzy and Jane is a novel about two sisters that were once close
May 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fiction
I felt the same way about this book as I did The Bronte Plot- disappointed. I was bored, possibly because of the huge amount of detailed cooking descriptions, and some of the main characters sometimes annoyed me. There were also a lot of instances that seemed like they were supposed to be deep but only skimmed the surface and didn't make sense in the story. However, there were a few moving moments, such as the ending. The best part of the story for me were the kids (Katie, Danny and Matt).

I pers
I loved this book! I was worried after reading Dear Mr Knightley that this one would be disappointing because Dear Mr Knightley was so good, but I needn't have worried! I enjoyed this one just as much, though the two are different!

I loved how the book ended for Lizzy. I was so glad to see that she went from struggling with every area of her life and spinning her wheels, to being much happier, having a much fuller life, and living it with purpose. This wasn't a fluffy and unrealistic book, but it
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Astonishingly real and raw -- almost painful to real in places. Reay shows the complexities of a dysfunctional family as they struggle with the cancer in their midst. We live it all through Elizabeth's point of view. What an incredible journey of growth. I could feel her stretching and clawing her way through the grim reality that surrounds her. Sometimes she's brilliant and other times she falls back into protective mode and I just want to shake some sense into her. But I'm always on her side, ...more
Kate (The Shelf Life)
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-read-2014, 2015
Beautiful, beautiful story!!!

Full review to follow.
Allison Tebo
I don't have the time or inclination to review this fully right now, but I'll leave a short one below!

Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, touching, heart-rending, emotional story! Lizzy (Elizabeth) and Jane's mother died from cancer when Lizzie was still a teenager. Jane, being older, was already married and didn't come home. Lizzy handles the pain by leaving her home and dad behind and becoming the head chef of her own New York restaurant. Many years have passed and Elizabeth has lost her "magic" in her kitchen. When the owner (financial backer) of her restaurant brings in another chef, Elizabeth decides it's time to ...more
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Katherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of several novels and one full length non-fiction work. Her upcoming novel, THE LONDON HOUSE, will release 11/30/2021.

Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, rehabbing runner, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer. She lives outside Chicago, IL.

You can meet her at www.katherinereay.c

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