Lessons in Writing a Stellar Novel


Lessons in Chemistry cover (Source: Amazon)

Felicity Abbott, Editor in Chief

Set in the 1950s, Lessons in Chemistry follows a female chemist, Elizabeth Zott. Zott’s story begins with her in graduate school and follows her all the way through to motherhood, stopping to tell side stories about sexism, romance and friendship. 


The story included every frustratingly realistic aspect of being a female chemist trying to break through into the world of science in the 1950s. Along with being humorous and entertaining, this novel is educational and gives the reader insight into the severity of sexism in the 1950s. The acts of sexism portrayed in the story were appalling but honest, and will give the reader a better understanding of what women had to go through just to work the same job as a man.


Every character is connected to each other and the plot, which makes the story a convoluted web. As these relationships are revealed, the story becomes a tapestry with every character’s stories interwoven with each other. This may seem like an obscene amount of life stuffed into one novel, but each side story is related somehow to the overarching plot. At the end of the book, every plot, side story and character comes together and the entire story is tied with a beautifully complex bow. 


This book will rip your heart out, stuff it back in, only to rip it out once again to stomp on it. After finishing the last page, I had to stop and just revel in the beauty of this story. If there’s one book that deserves to be labeled as required reading, this should be the one.