The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by Elizabeth LaBan….Blog Tour Stop & Review



What could be better than being married to a restaurant critic? All those amazing meals at the best restaurants…pure nirvana, right? Well, Lila Soto, the heroine of Elizabeth LaBan’s charming new novel, The Restaurant Critic’s Wife (Lake Union Publishing; January 5, 2016), might tell you otherwise. Sure the food is heavenly, but the downsides are considerable—especially being married to a man who is obsessed with his job and paranoid to the point of absurdity about being “outed” from his anonymity. Add to the scenario the fact that Lila has given up her own career to follow her husband’s job to a new, unfamiliar city, and that she is now a fulltime stay-at-home mom—a gig she never aspired to, despite loving her kids—and you begin to see why Lila is doubting every life decision she’s ever made.

Though it is not an autobiography by any means, it can’t be overlooked that Elizabeth LaBan is herself married to Philadelphia restaurant critic Craig LaBan. “This book wouldn’t exist without my husband,” she says, “who brings excitement, adventure, love, and great food into our lives every day, and has always been open to my writing a novel about a woman who is married to a wacky restaurant critic. For the record, Craig is not obsessive or controlling like Sam—and Craig did not tell me to say that.” But, even if her main characters are fictitious, there is no denying that Elizabeth draws on aspects of her own life to lend a delicious verisimilitude to the novel.

The Restaurant Critic’s Wife is a charming portrait of the complexities of life that many women face when dealing with their marriages, their children, their friendships, and their careers. All the talk about exquisite food is merely the icing on a one-of-a-kind cake. 

“A tender, charming, and deliciously diverting story about love, marriage, and how your restaurant-review sausage gets made. The Restaurant Critic’s Wife is compulsively readable and richly detailed, a guilt-free treat that will have you devouring every word.” —Jennifer Weiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Good In BedBest Friends Forever, and Who Do You Love


My Review:

The Restaurant Critic’s Wife is the first work from author Elizabeth LaBan that I’ve read. I will admit that immediately the cover caught my attention and after reading the synopsis I was really excited to start reading this book.  Overall it was a mix of hits and misses for me.

Being a resident of the Philadelphia burbs, I really enjoyed the setting of the story. It was really great to read about the places that are only a short drive away for me.  Primarily where the book fell a little flat for me was the overall plot. This book is basically a look into the daily life of a stay at home mom with a work obsessed husband and her back and forth internal debate about going back to work. That’s a debate I can totally relate to and I felt for Lila and her struggle. It’s hard when you start to lose yourself with motherhood, especially if you had been a career woman previously.  It also doesn’t help that her husband almost forbids her to go back to work.  Her husband, Sam, is a restaurant critic held in very high regard…he’s also managed to keep his identity a secret and is now borderline obsessed in keeping it that way.  He sort of drove me crazy.  But on the flip side, I could understand his stress in that kind of charade so I couldn’t completely hate him. I especially couldn’t hate him for it because I know how Philly people can be and goodness knows if he wrote up a bad review for a beloved Philadelphia restaurant, he’d be heckled everywhere he went!  We don’t take kindly to people speaking badly of things we love.

So overall, while the story fell a bit flat for me at times, it was well-written and I enjoyed that aspect of things.



Three Loves


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Book Links:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble




Elizabeth LaBan_(c) Andrea Cipriani Mecchi_300dpiAbout Elizabeth LaBan

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

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Elizabeth LaBan’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, January 4th: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Tuesday, January 5th: Why Girls are Weird
Wednesday, January 6th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Thursday, January 7th: Bibliotica
Monday, January 11th: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, January 12th: Chick Lit Central – author guest post
Wednesday, January 13th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Thursday, January 14th: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, January 15th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, January 18th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Tuesday, January 19th: Bookchickdi
Wednesday, January 20th: I’m Shelf-ish
Thursday, January 21st: Patricia’s Wisdom
Friday, January 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Monday, January 25th: Read. Write. Repeat.
Tuesday, January 26thRead Love Blog
Wednesday, January 27thMom in Love with Fiction
Thursday, January 28thView from the Birdhouse
Monday, February 1stJust Commonly
Wednesday, February 3rdThoughts from an Evil Overlord


  1. I love your review of this book! I’ve also got a review of it over on my site. I’d love to get your feedback on my reviews!

  2. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

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