cover image The Restaurant Critic’s Wife

The Restaurant Critic’s Wife

Elizabeth LaBan. Lake Union, $10.99 trade paper (313p) ISBN 978-1-5039-4775-7

Despite having a master’s degree in hotel management, Lila Soto, the titular restaurant critic’s wife, has a tough job balancing a new baby, three-year-old daughter, Hazel, and her husband, Sam, who is becoming increasingly paranoid and private. He wants anonymity to the point of demanding that Lila avoid talking to the neighbors and forging friendships. Lila’s growing loneliness creates a longing for the simplicity that she and Sam shared before he became Philadelphia’s Mr. Food, as well as feeding her curiosity about Tom, her ex. But tensions really come to a head when Lila is tempted by an opportunity to return to work as the manager of The Addison, a hotel and resort company. Lila narrates her story with a clear and credible voice, revealing her transitions and transformation over a year filled with emotional highs and lows. The narrative flows effortlessly, and the dialogue is engaging and evocative. Lila and Sam’s love and devotion, despite expected bumps along the way, provides a sensitive look at rediscovering yourself and your marriage. (Jan.)