Thursday, August 8, 2019

Julie's Review: Natalie Tan's Book Fate and Fortune

Author: Roselle Lim
Series: None
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 320
Obtained: Library
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: A sweet novel about honoring your family and heritage
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: At the news of her mother’s death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn’t spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She’s even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother’s restaurant. The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant’s fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around—she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

Review: What a lovely book about family, heritage and opening yourself up to love. Natalie, who even though she's traveled the world is still unsure of herself, comes back home to Chinatown in San Fransisco after her mom who suddenly dies. She begins to see her mom through the eyes of the neighbors and the people who Natalie thought never looked after her mom while she was gone. She starts to ask questions about her Grandma who ran a hugely successful restaurant under their apartment and why her mom never wanted to run it.

What Natalie finds is her grandma's old recipe book and starts to recreate the recipes, magic seems to happen and put spells on her neighbors giving them what Natalie thinks she needs. Things start to backfire and Natalie has to find a way to make it right, while also trying to figure out her life.  Will Natalie face her problems straight on or will she run away like she has in the past?

Be prepared to be hungry though when you are reading the book and get a craving for Chinese food. This book will get you on all emotional levels and perhaps get you thinking about how you can honor your own family. 


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