In looking at the cover of Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl and reading the back blurb, one might expect to learn a lot about plants and how one woman grew her scientific career around them. And it does deliver on those fronts. But it’s also about much, much more. This memoir is about families who refuse to express pain, about the stigmas surrounding mental illness and poverty, about the funding crisis for scientific research in this country, about motherhood, and about how gender impacts the trajectory of a career. Above all, in the unforgettable portrayal of Jahren’s decades-long friendship with her lab partner, it is one of the most touching stories of platonic love between a man and a woman that I’ve ever read. Anyone who reads this book will be richer for it. And yes, you’ll also learn things about plants along the way.