Title: Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune
Author: Roselle Lim
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publish Date: June 11, 2019 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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
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."
My Two Cents:
Sometimes you're just looking for a cute read that feels like a warm hug and that is exactly what you get with "Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune." Natalie returns to her San Francisco Chinatown neighborhood after her mother dies. Stubbornness and friction kept them apart in life and now Natalie is looking for some sort of redemption and to feel closer to both her mother and grandmother's memory. This was a good, cozy read!
I loved Natalie! When Natalie inherits her grandmother's restaurant, she's stunned. She cut all ties with her mother when she wouldn't support Natalie becoming a chef. Natalie hasn't been back to San Francisco for years! We see how she struggles with seeing how her neighborhood has fallen: businesses are closing, people are moving out. She is incredibly driven and knows she wants to make things better for those she still loves in the neighborhood.
There is something special about foodie fiction and this book is most definitely foodie fiction! Natalie's recipes and love for food shines through in this book. I did wish that the book included actual recipes (all of the recipes have ingredients but no amounts). It would be a lot of fun to try to cook her recipes, even without the magical results!
And that brings me to another thing - I love magical realism and this book definitely has a dose of that! Natalie starts trying to make her grandmother's recipes in order to help her friends and neighbors. Things backfire at first until Natalie figures out what she's missing!
Overall, this was a good read with a lot of tasty treats!