The Restaurant Critic's Wife

Poor Lila. She goes from having grapefruit and coffee for breakfast to eating omelets and cinnamon rolls. That's what happens when you marry a foodie, especially after that foodie later becomes a restaurant critic. Her husband, Sam, takes on the life of a secret agent on almost a daily basis, wearing disguises at restaurants he critiques and not giving his real name. He has so much control over his family's life that he won't let his wife have any friends in the event that, heaven have mercy, they find out who he is or what he does. He goes to extremes to remain undercover and sometimes it's even comical.

As for Sam, I didn't like this character at all. He is controlling, selfish, and manipulative. He doesn't care about Lila's feelings at all. He puts his job over his marriage. I really hated him, especially at one point where he is very cruel to Lila and ignores her tears. And then he is manipulative in getting her to forgive him -- he doesn't even apologize for being such a jerk!! And Lila stupidly forgives him. I would've kicked him in the nuts and thrown him out! But I guess Lila wants the kind of marriage where she suffers.

Lila tries her best as a mom who does practically everything in this marriage (except cook daily meals, that is). But, breastfeeding in a McDonald's?? Seriously? Up until then, I sympathized with everything this woman went through with her kids, but breastfeeding in a fast-food eatery is definitely a big no-no because it is not sanitary. Another parenting mistake she makes is constantly giving in to her whining 3-year-old and not even disciplining her when the kid acts out.

Lila is clearly someone who does not enjoy her alone time very much, either. It's strange that when she finally has me-time after the kids are in bed, she complains about being alone at night so much. This woman definitely needs a hobby. It's too bad she's not much of a reader. Oh, but she is quite the whiner. I have never read a novel where a character whines so much. And after losing it, she keeps pining away for her life before kids. Even calling her ex-boyfriend! I guess being the wife of a restaurant critic is not a very happy one.

The ending was hugely disappointing. I was actually relieved when I finally finished reading this book. I would give this novel a lower rating if I could. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

Book Blurb for The Restaurant Critic's Wife

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.

Night Owl Reviews Apr, 2016 3.00