The Restaurant Critic's Wife + Giveaway

Free food at the top restaurants? What not to love? How about being a restaurant critic's wife?

Title:  The Restaurant Critic's Wife
Author:  Elizabeth LaBan
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
Release Date:  January 5, 2016



Lila Soto has a master’s degree that’s gathering dust, a work-obsessed husband, two kids, and lots of questions about how exactly she ended up here.

In their new city of Philadelphia, Lila’s husband, Sam, takes his job as a restaurant critic a little too seriously. To protect his professional credibility, he’s determined to remain anonymous. Soon his preoccupation with anonymity takes over their lives as he tries to limit the family’s contact with anyone who might have ties to the foodie world. Meanwhile, Lila craves adult conversation and some relief from the constraints of her homemaker role. With her patience wearing thin, she begins to question everything: her decision to get pregnant again, her break from her career, her marriage—even if leaving her ex-boyfriend was the right thing to do. As Sam becomes more and more fixated on keeping his identity secret, Lila begins to wonder if her own identity has completely disappeared—and what it will take to get it back.
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With a solid premise of Lila, an independent career woman, turned wife, turned mother of 2, turned stay-at-home mom, juggling the various roles she plays, while maintaining her identity and meet new friends in a new environment. The problem? Her husband Sam - a paranoid restaurant critic that cares more about his career than his family.  It starts off strong, but gets convoluted somewhere in the middle and by the end of the book, I wished for more.

Elizabeth LaBan is a great writer. Her words flow easily and she captures the complexities of a modern day woman to the "T".  The character of Sam just rubs me the wrong way. His selfishness brings to mind a dictator that only cares for the well-being of himself, in this case his career. His family, specifically his wife's happiness does not mean one ounce to him.  Even after several verbal discussions, he still denies Lila's livelihood in her own identity.  With Lila, her selflessness in giving into Sam's requests is commendable, but her decisions to let it go so far had me questioning who she really is. Though at the end of the story, we rejoice with her truly finding balance in her different roles, I wished for a more realistic (or is it personal) preference for Sam to genuinely see his wrongs to the point that I believe him.  With that said, characters that evokes such an emotion, that adds points in my book.

Like I said before, Elizabeth is a wonderful writer, and I can relate on a personal level to Lila's dilemma. The Restaurant Critic's Wife have several comical moments and the story reads like life as it is happening, starting with a great and funny cover.  This is one I will like to re-read in the future and see if any perspectives change.  Give this one a try and let me know what you think.

(Also, for my readers who prefer clean reads, this book does contain a minor scene of nudity and intimacy, but not graphic.)

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy through TLC Book Tours for an honest review.



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

CONNECT WITH ELIZABETH:  websitefacebooktwitter

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Lake Union Publishing and Elizabeth have generously provided a copy for one reader in this giveaway.  All you have to do is comment on this post or Elizabeth's guest post here.  Each comment = one entry, maximum one entry per person per post. Don't forget to leave your email address with (at) and (dot) to avoid spammers.  So sorry, US addresses only. 

Comment suggestion for this post:  Would you want to be a full time restaurant critic, why or why not?

Thank you participating. This giveaway is in conjunction with Elizabeth LaBan's guest post.  One winner between the two posts. Giveaway ends February 10, 2016 at 4:00 PM. 



  1. I have too many food sensitivities to be a critic.

  2. Don't think I could be a food critic. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom.

  3. Congratulations to Blondie, who commented on the guest post. She is the winner of this giveaway according the Mr. Random Number Generator. Please contact me via the contact form above with your mailing address. Thank you.

  4. Since I did not receive a response from "Blondie", a new winner have been selected. Congratulations to Emilie! Please contact me with your mailing address. Thank you!


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