Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune (e-ARC)
Author: Roselle Lim
Publisher: Berkley Books
Released: June 11th, 2019
Genre: Romance, Adult, Contemporary
Format: E-book (Paperback)
Characters: Natalie, Old Wu, Celia, Daniel, …
Lush and visual, chock-full of delicious recipes, Roselle Lim’s magical debut novel is about food, heritage, and finding family in the most unexpected places.
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.
Source: The Royal Polar Bear Reads
Reading this book brought so much good feelings and warmth. The writing style is somewhat melancholy, starting off with someone’s death already sets this book apart from the rest. Also, the writing style is different from what I was anticipating, and it’s in a good way. It reminds me a lot of Amy Tan’s writing style.
The characters are all very important and play important roles in the book, they all had their own background story as part of the neighbourhood. This is what I love about the book, the story it tells, the people, the food, each component and shops in the neighbourhood is part of a big family. It really brings joy and happiness reading this book. They are also a very close community and always help each other out, including Natalie’s mother. Natalie’s late mother’s anxiety is another aspect that I think was written extremely well by the author. Her fear of coming out from the house is not being explicitly described, but it is clearly explained on what could have caused it and what has made it worse for her mother. The author has nailed in spreading the awareness among the readers towards the cause of anxiety and depression.
“Mental illness was a foreign concept in my culture. To my people, superstitions were more real than depression and anxiety. Instead of therapists, we saw doctors, herbalists, feng shui consultants, and acupuncturists. We would rather believe in spirits, luck, ghosts and demons than the discipline of psychology.”
– Roselle Lim, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune
Even though the plot keeps moving up and down, like there are conflicts here and there and then it’s fixed and then it reappears. It could be a bit messy and there was this one part where the change from a really low point to a rekindled spirit is just too fast for me. I’d love to see things slow down a bit, maybe it would make more sense to me.
The food is just too good, it makes me crave for the Asian dishes gosh! I also love the element of how those recipes sorta have magic effects on the people who eat them. I think that’s brilliant (and can I have please some recipes of success, love and wealth? just kidding haha)! Besides that, I love the relationship between Natalie and Daniel. I am so glad it did not take away the spotlight of the main plot of the story and still remain as an outstanding sub-plot in the book.
“Love is one of those rare things that may seem fragile, but it’s stronger that it looks.”
– Roselle Lim, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune
The plot twist got me in tears. Like I did have my suspicion, but oh damn the backstory to that plot twist really GOT ME GEWDDDD. Love it! The ending is really nice, I think the whole story is wrapped up nicely, I’m a happy kid.
Would I recommend this book? Oh yes, of course, I’d be offended if you don’t pick this book up!
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Hello there! Again I’m here with unplanned creative post but I thought I would try to create another mood board for my favourite Chinese cuisines. Totally relevant with this book as it features so many Chinese-Asian delicacies that I WOULD DIE FOR!
Bear in mind, this is ONLY SOME of my favourite Chinese cuisines. Clock wise, we have Cheung Fun, Wantan Noodle, Fried Dumplings (but I call it shumai here in Malaysia and they look a bit different) and lastly Chinese fried rice. I’m a little bit hungry looking at these food, I hope I make your life miserable too by looking at these yummy food. Muahaha
Rafael of The Royal Polar Bear Reads
Aleks of Mind of Luxe
Jessica of Endless Chapters
Pragati of The Inked In Book Blog
Myrth of Tales Past Midnight
Erica of Living a Hundred Lives
Gerald of Gerald The Bookworm
Shaine of Wanderer in Neverland
Kat of Reading After Ten
Shaa of Moonlight Pages
Beatrice of Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic
Kat H of Novels & Waffles
Jen of Jen D Bibliophile
Rain of bookdragonism
Princess of Princess and Pages
Samantha of We Live and Breathe Books
Fatina of The Infinity Words
Naadhira of Legendbooksdary
Cherry of Tale Out Loud
About The Author
Roselle Lim was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada as a child. She lived in north Scarborough in a diverse, Asian neighbourhood.
She found her love of writing by listening to her lola (paternal grandmother’s) stories about Filipino folktales. Growing up in a household where Chinese superstition mingled with Filipino Catholicism, she devoured books about mythology, which shaped the fantasies in her novels.
An artist by nature, she considers writing as “painting with words.”