The Restaurant Critic’s Wife is Lila Soto, a smart woman with two small children and a career on hold. Her husband, Sam, is an insufferable paranoid pompous idiot. Lila’s attraction to Sam is never satisfactorily explained to me, except that he used to make her pancakes a long time ago? Yikes. Anyway, Sam and Lila have just moved to Philadelphia because he has his dream job of being a restaurant critic for the newspaper. Real talk: this is my dream job too, so I was really hoping to like this book a lot. Also real talk: I did not.


Lila is having a hard time settling into full time motherhood. While at the beginning of the story she is on maternity leave, Sam is fully against her going back to work. Why, you might ask? Because he is so invested in his children’s wellbeing and care that he wants someone to be home with them? Nope! It’s because her job (crisis manager or something…) is too high profile, and if she is in the public then it might out him as the restaurant critic. Personally I think the dumb ass disguises he uses while eating out and more likely to do that trick, but no one asked my opinion.


Besides not letting her work, Sam would also prefer that she have zero friends. Sweet, right?   I mean, why would she need friends? Just because she’s alone in a new city with two kids under four and her husband is gone all the time and when he is there all he talks about is food? Sam is a one note character who is completely self absorbed and I could not for the life of me figure out what she saw in him and/or why she didn’t just leave him, or at least… I don’t know, TELL HIM HOW MISERABLE SHE WAS???

I was fairly exhausted with annoyance with this story but I kept going because really all you have to do for me to read your book is t describe food to me. The ending is somewhat redeeming, but you are going to slog through a whole lotta righteous martyrdom to get there.


Grade – C