I loved this book. I read it cover to cover in one (sick) day. It was exactly the pick-me-up/good cry I needed. I went in basically blind, except that I had corrected my understanding it was a romance novel — while there is a romance in it that much of the plot spins on, it's much more of a story of “found family” and women supporting other women.
Elizabeth is an extraordinary woman who is able to see clearly the social/cultural structures that those around her merely abide by. She calls it like she sees it calmly and rationally, and allows those around her to have temper tantrums without mothering them.
The book isn't perfect — issues of intersectionality/race are touched on only superficially, ambition and work take center stage as what women truly want, and the rational/empirical perspective that Elizabeth takes — while inspiring in the context of the book — is not critically examined. Rationality and empiricism are seen as antidotes to oppressive cultural views, while in reality they are themselves just as much a part of the culture and worldview that Elizabeth so strongly critiques.
Having said that, for me/at the time that I read it, I was able to fully enjoy Elizabeth's certainty that if you treat everyone around you like an independent adult with opinions, ideas, and aspirations of their own (including women, children, and older people) they will surprise and delight you. It is a 5-star book for me because it was exactly the heartfelt read I needed, and I can personally look past some of the critiques I raised above given the quality of the story, characters, and plot.