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The Restaurant Critic’s Wife Based on Real Life

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The Restaurant Critic's Wife 

The Restaurant Critic’s Wife
Elizabeth LaBan
Lake Union/Amazon

ISBN: 978-1503947757


Elizabeth LaBan

Audio interview Audio Interview With the Author

 Audio Length: 15 minutes


Elizabeth LaBan  was inspired  by real-life experiences to write  her first adult novel,  THE RESTAURANT CRITIC’S WIFE.  Her husband, Craig LaBan,  is a restaurant critic in the Philadelphia area.

The book, to be released by Lake Union/Amazon January 5, 2016, has received blurbs from  Jennifer Weiner, Elisabeth Egan, and Elin Hilderbrand, among others. In this Authorlink AUDIO interview, Elizabeth talks about the challenges of writing her second book, after  publishing THE TRAGEDY PAPER (Knopf), her debut novel for a young adult audience. She also unveils some of the mysteries surrounding the life of a restaurant critic, and explains that husband Craig, nothing like the fictional critic, has been supportive of her work on the subject. In fact, she dedicates the book to him. 

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.  

In the book, we’re introduced to Lila Soto whose husband Sam is obsessed with his job as a restaurant critic and paranoid to the point of absurdity about being “outed” from his anonymity. New to Philadelphia—and a particularly tight-knit neighborhood of super-moms—Lila feels isolated and depressed, especially after giving up her own high-powered career to follow her husband’s job. She’s also left feeling unsatisfied as life as a full-time stay-at-home mom—a gig she never aspired to, despite loving her kids—is simply not enough, especially with Sam’s ridiculous rules about meeting new people. As a result, Lila is doubting every life decision she’s ever made, fantasizing about the road not taken. 

THE TRAGEDY PAPER  has been translated into eleven foreign languages, and  a non-fiction book, THE GRANDPARENTS HANDBOOK,   has been translated into seven foreign languages.

Elizabeth teaches fiction writing at The University of Pennsylvania. In addition, she is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsday and The Times-Picayune, among other publications. She also ghostwrites a weekly column for a national news outlet, and has ghostwritten two books.

Elizabeth has a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s in English from Trinity College in Hartford.  She was an NBC Page, worked at NBC News in New York, taught journalism at a community college in New Orleans, and was a reporter at a number of small to mid-sized newspapers including The Riverdale Press before she began writing books. You can learn more about Elizabeth at


 “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 Bed, Best Friends Forever, and Who Do You Love

“Elizabeth Laban’s novel THE RESTAURANT CRITIC’S WIFE stirs in love and intrigue making for a savory delight that pairs perfectly with your armchair. Prepare to be charmed!” —Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Rumor

“A heartfelt and relatable look at a woman navigating the difficulties of marriage and motherhood—while struggling to maintain a sense of self. Written with charm, honesty, and an insider’s eye into a usually hidden slice of the restaurant world, it’s a winning recipe.” —Sarah Pekkanen, internationally bestselling author of Things You Won’t Say 

“In her debut novel for adults, Elizabeth LaBan cooks up a delectable buffet about motherhood, friendship, ambition and romance (albeit one in need of a little more spice). She captures the essence of life with small children (smitten with a side of hysteria) and weaves a relatable, charming love story with the flair of an expert baker turning out a flawless lattice crust. LaBan’s four-star story has the satisfying effect of a delicious meal shared with friends you can’t wait to see again.” Elisabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens