Book Review #296
Title: Natalie Tan’s Book Of Luck And Fortune
Author: Roselle Lim
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
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.
When I finally picked this book up to read, I was surprised by the content of what the entire story entitles. Even though, the title suggested it, I couldn’t really grasp to the idea. It was magical, hopeful and all about the prosperity of the community. But most importantly, it was about food that could make the people come together and rejoice in whatever the problems they may be facing.
I was really pleasantly surprised by the magical element of this story. Of Natalie laolao’s recipe book, the good and the bad that it can bring to the result of her cooking.
At first, I find the flow of the plot to be a tad too cliche. It became too predictable until it didn’t anymore. Suddenly, there were twists and turns arising along the story and it was then that I hadn’t quite given up this story yet. That I hadn’t listed and categorised it as a story that was mediocre and as I mentioned before, too cliche for its own good. I know, I shouldn’t judge a book so quickly and read the whole thing until the very last page to finally judge the book as a whole. I’ll try to take note of that from now on!
This story not only highlights the things that I mentioned before, it was also about family, grief and feeling like a total failure. Its the kind of feeling that we might feel like its just us against the wide world. I’m sure that every one out of three of those we have at least once experienced before. It would be the thing that makes us vulnerable and attacks us as a whole. It sucks but it sure does happen.
Anyways, to those who are feeling helpless and going through something that you just can’t find the answers to, sometimes all it takes is to have a bite of your comfort food. It may not solve all your problems right away but food is great and it usually makes a lot of people happy. And if that’s what it takes, you need to grab that chance.