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Publisher's Summary

People magazine included The Restaurant Critic's Wife on their Great New Fiction list and hailed it as "thoroughly entertaining."

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.

©2016 Elizabeth LaBan (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    51
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Performance

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    25
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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Wife losing herself to her husband

I am so disappointed in his book. It’s well written but is a story of a woman losing her inner self to please a husband who can’t look beyond himself. In the book Lila allowed herself to be bullied by her husband. Lila is like a Phoenix rising from the dead after being defeated yet making excuses for the man who caused her death. Not a book I’d recommend to any woman other than a romantic who believes a woman’s job Is to reform herself to please an overbearing husband.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Fidge
  • Wakefield, RI, United States
  • 05-21-16

So disappointing

I kept hoping Lila would come to her senses and ditch her incredibly self-centered and narcissistic husband, Sam, but no. This study in frustration wraps up tidily with Sam "agreeing" to "let" Lila work - but of course only part time.
I listened to this in my car and found myself yelling at the characters several times out of sheer annoyance. I listened right to the end in the hope that she would get it together, but I wasted my time.
And please, Lila, don't inflict your screaming children on us at any restaurant, ever.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved this book!

This was my first Elizabeth Laban book. since this one I've listened to all her over ones! it was beautifully written, I loved the characters and narrator. I would recommend it to anyone wanting a light read who loved food narratives. Made my mouth water!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

My Thoughts on The Restaurant Critic's Wife

4.5 of 5 stars

This was one of those books that drew me in with how real it was. Real life problems, worries and frustrations. Lila was so relatable for me as a mom of two who often has her own struggles with wondering if I'm doing the right thing as a parent. I could understand the moments of feeling like you just aren't communicating well with your spouse no matter how much you love them. And I felt like I really connected with that desire to find the right balance to satisfy everyone involved. I don't often read books where the couple is established and dealing with the day to day of married life, but this book makes me want to read more of them.

As I read and listened I thought thought the narrator was amazing. I loved the emotions and variations in her voice when she was doing the different characters and conveying what they were feeling.

I definitely plan to check out more from this author and narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

not bad

The story was engaging- but I could never be married to her husband. good narrative.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

remind me of old radio stories

good writing. Everyday mothers story. Not very interesting but it might be in 50 years.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

So-so book

I generally liked this book, but I felt like the main character/the wife was still stuck.
I don't think I could be in a marriage like that, but that was her husbands dream and that's what she went a long with.
This book is defiantly going to have me thinking for a couple days.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I liked it.

A good listen. I liked the plot and narration. It held my attention. I f I were reading instead of listening I'd have had a hard time putting the book down.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

too precious, too superficial, too cutesy

it was hard to care about any of the characters. this is a boring and regressive portrait of a supposedly modern woman and her marriage. the narrator had very unsophisticated material to work with so she cannot be blamed for some irritating moments in her character portrayals.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • ML
  • 05-17-16

Annoying loud child!

This was a very good book about a husband that is a control freak. I would buy a regular book to read though due to the loud annoying voice of the child. I stopped listening several times thinking I couldn't take hearing her any longer. I finally made it to the end. It was agonizing.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JC
  • 10-13-18

disappointed

essentially a story about a woman whose husband is pretty narcissistic but she seems to gloss over that and believes all that's wrong in her marriage is caused by inability to understand him. Really disappointed to be reading something like this in 2018.