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THE RESTAURANT CRITIC’S WIFE: Good Storytelling ~Elizabeth LaBan

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

“Compulsively readable and richly detailed, a guilt-free treat that will have you devouring every word.” (Cover) JENNIFER WEINER – #1 New York Times bestselling author.

As I started to read THE RESTAURANT CRITIC’S WIFE I thought several times that I was reading a Jennifer Weiner story and truly enjoying this cozy read of an e-book.  When I got to the final scene and moved to acknowledgements I was pleased to discover that Elizabeth LaBan knows Weiner and that they had discussed this book in progress and ideas were shared.  Then I saw the front cover of the book and there was Weiner’s quote, which I agree wholehearted with its assessment.  A delicious read with no weight gain.

Lila is a regular kind of gal, who got pregnant and decided to get married to her fellow – a journalist who loves to cook and enjoy food.  They start out life together in New Orleans and Lila is a travelling staff member of a large hotel chain who does crisis intervention.  Sam, the journalist gets a new job as the food critic for the newspaper in Philadelphia and because Lila is expecting child #2 they decide she will not work as they transition into a new community, job, and arrival of a new baby.  Lila loves her children but is feeling troubled being out of the workforce and by needing to stay invisible to keep her spouse’s identify a secret from restaurants he will be reviewing.  This is very hard because Lila’s friend from school lives nearby and has small children and her husband owns a new restaurant in town.  The neighbors cannot be befriended if they own a restaurant either.  Lila endures loneliness and restlessness until she starts doing some “on the phone” crisis intervention work for her old work situation.  The local gossip columnist gets ahold of her picture and reports on her activities and now the tension begins with full force as the couple works on their relationship, happiness seems elusive and Lila keeps being exposed and Sam’s work is jeopardized.   What is a young mother to do?  How does she find her place in a new city and with a new baby and nurture her children?

The food reviews are a fabulous part of the storytelling and oh my the descriptions of the restaurants and the food they are eating – well yummy, enticing and so funny without all the calories.  It was simply a wonderful read and I curled up with a cuppa and enjoyed page after page.  I was happy she found a babysitter who could help her and she found a true friend along the way.   Cozy enjoyable read.

TLC Book Tours sent me a copy of this book and they have a whole list of folks reviewing this book and sharing it with readers.  No spit up on my shoulder any more, been there – done that, and still a good read and remembering making those career choices; I did not have that much humor in those days!

“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.”  (Cover)

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The Case for The ONLY Child by Susan Newman, Ph.D.

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011


The Case for the Single Child is definitely a book whose time is now.  This is a crucial topic for people to investigate and work at exploring their own issues about children and their expectations.   This book is an excellent compilation of research, interviews, and conversations with the leaders and those living out these ideas. The times have changed and there is a need to change our thinking.

Then again, there are just mean people out in the world who are there to provoke and make life miserable for others.  It is  hoped that the negative voices about your decisions in this matter are not related to you or live next door. The author offers some good news about the naysayers.

The SINGLE child is becoming the worldwide norm.  China has had decades of only children and the research shows that most of the people in China prefer the only child status.  They are happier if their only is a male, and that is a worldwide phenomenon, but they do not worry about having 2 or 3 children to take care of them as they grow old.  Places like the UK have a 46% rate of parents preferring to only parent 1 child.

The Odyssey generation is waiting longer to get married and many, many women are choosing not to get married at all.  By waiting later, women can build a nest egg and a career and participate in Invitro – fertilization to have their own child or adopt.  A whole new “biological clock” is ticking.  Grandparents are usually so happy to get a grandie that they are not pushing their luck!

In the USA there is tremendous pressure to have 2 children and we have a fascination (maybe like a circus sideshow) with families that have more than 4 children.  We put a great deal of pressure on young parents to have more than 1 child and then we do not support the families with more than one child with health insurance and support systems such as provided in Scandinavian countries at this time.   Still the numbers are climbing for single child families and particularly in families with more education.   With a 1.6 million dollar  price tag  coming onto the horizon for  the cost per child – we had all better take a closer look and do some serious planning and education.

A question to ask: Is my religious institution willing to truly support me in producing more than one child? or Is the earth able to support my producing more than one child?

There is so much competition and pressure between siblings these days and so many ways to be social and have a best friend and peer group that the case for having more than one child is weakening.  Parents need to take care of themselves and not expect that their children will be there for them.

In China, a whole new career for women has developed.  Single daughters are hired to be elder care givers and people like it better because they are trained to listen and do the best for the parents of boys as they age.

I liked how the author took each concept through a step by step approach.  She writes a blog called “SINGLETON” for Psychology Today Magazine.  She was step parent to 4 and is now the parent of a single child.   She also teaches at Rutgers University and has definitely covered many thought – provoking concepts that most of us might not consider in our decision making process.  Thoughtfully researched and presented, the book is an excellent resource and interesting .

I am not going to rate this book because it is a valuable resource and would make a difference to everyone.  I am hoping my children  read this book.  I do not expect to be a grandparent in my lifetime, it would be a lovely gift, but I have lived the realities of the current model of parenting and will let my children make the right choices for themselves.

I do share life with a GRAND PUPPY!

Susan Newman

Susan Newman, is a social psychologist and the author of fifteen nonfiction books about parenting and family issues.  She taught at Rutgers University and is a member of the American Psychological Association.   She can be found at her website.

What do you think about single parenting and parenting a single?  Do you think it is a big decision?  Do you think it is important to consider this topic?

This book review was scheduled by TLC online book tours and I received a copy of this book to read.  If you order a copy of the book from this site via Amazon, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

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