The Restaurant Critic's Wife by Elizabeth LaBan is about Sam and Lila Soto who have just moved to Philadelphia for Sam to begin his dream job of working as a restaurant critic for a newspaper. Sam is very insistent on keeping his identity a secret so that no one in the restaurant industry will know it is him when he dines at their restaurants. As the story begins, Lila, a former crisis manager for Addison Hotels, is pregnant with their second child and knows almost no one in their new town.
For the most part, I liked the book. I, however, didn't really care for either of the main characters. Sam is obsessive, self centered and selfish. Lila is insecure, selfish and self centered. They don't communicate with each other at all and act very immature and childish too. It was hard for me as a mother of five to read about a woman that is so insecure in her parenting but doesn't actually parent. I felt like she spent the entire book just distracting her kids so that she could do what she wanted.
I don't want to come down too hard on the book because there were several things I enjoyed. The different restaurants and menus was very interesting and fun. I liked how real the author was with a lot of parenting issues, with children throwing fits and fighting and dealing with other moms. But, unfortunately, the main character of Lila was very hard for me to read. She was very insecure and immature and selfish in my opinion. Overall, I liked the authors writing style and the way she described the scenes. I felt as if I was actually there. I just didn't care for Sam and Lila Soto.
I was given a free advanced copy of The Restaurant Critic's Wife from Netgalley.com in exchange for my honest review.