Wednesday, June 12, 2019


Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and FortuneSynopsis: 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: There's a lot going on in Natalie Tan's life: resentment for her mother and a bit of shame about their fractured relationship; proposed gentrification of the neighborhood she couldn't wait to escape but has come to love; and a bit of romance. Initially Natalie wants to sell the building so she can hit the road and continue to drift from place to place as she has since she first left home, but soon comes to realize Chinatown is exactly where she's meant to be.

Roselle Lim deftly weaves all of these elements into one of the most magical reads I've come across this year. I can't wait to see what she does next.

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews on Goodreads!

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