Natalie Tan’s Book of Love and Fortune by Roselle Lim
Reviewed by GGGinny
What I drank: a white wine, vino Verde specifically. It was a little tart, honestly I wouldn’t buy it again. But hey, I no longer have trader joes wines and $10 doesn’t go nearly as far anywhere else…
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.
Drunk Overview: Natalie Tan was estranged from her mother when her mother died. She returned home to find she inherited everything incliding her grandmothers recipe book that was legendarily full of magic recipes.
Drunk Thoughts: i love magical realism!
- Like any book with cooking this bokk did come with actual recipes and Im so tempted to try some of them!
- Seriously, the descriptions of food were mouthwatering.
- I also enjoyed the “lessons” in this book
- Natalie needs to help three of her neighbors but has her own idea of what magic/food they need
- Obviously, things go wrong.
- But this book also does a wonderful job of balancing history with progress.
- She relies really heavily on her grandmothers recipes even though shes a chef in her own merit
- Also as an interesting note, the other people in the book didnt really make much of an impact on me. Its a situation where Natalie felt like a playable character while everyone else was an NPC
- Basically, it felt like the other people only existed so Natalie had a problem to solve
- Which actually leads me to the love interest. I liked the idea of him but I wish he had been fleshed out a biy.
- He had a few moments where he did make some really interesting choices but I wish a little more , even just a few lines, had been given to explore his reasoning.
- While I say the characters didnt have an impact their problems did, partially because I think the problems chosen were so real.
- Regardless, this is basically the perfect summer read. Its a sweet book that felt a little bit like candy to read.
- The kind of book where even during the low point you know everything is going to be all right, you dont need to worry if things are going to be resolved.
What I’d Pair it With: dessert wine. This is the perfect apertif. Have a long difficult day? Read this book.