Thursday, July 11, 2019

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

Title: Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune
Author: Roselle Lim
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series: Standalone
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

                I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

                As soon as I was finished with Mrs. Everything, I pushed Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune to the top of my library stack. I tried reading Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke, and it was just flat, so I moved on. Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune was a tender, bittersweet tale of family, connection, food, and grief, and I loved every moment of it. I devoured this book in a mere matter of hours, I was so bewitched by it. Full of magic, new love, self-realization, and emotion, I loved this gorgeous, beautifully written debut. Roselle Lim is a fantastic author, and I cannot wait to see what she has up her sleeve next!

                Natalie Tan has been traveling abroad for several years, after a difficult, painful argument with her mother. When she receives news that her mother has passed away, she reluctantly returns to the neighborhood where she grew up. But when she arrives, she realizes that the vibrant, colorful neighborhood she remembers is dying. Neighbors are packing up and moving, bought off by an ambitious realtor. When Natalie receives a special cookbook passed down from the grandmother she never knew, she begins to realize her dream of opening her own restaurant. Spurred on by the bittersweet memories of her mother, she uses the recipes in her grandmother’s book to help her neighbors. But when things start to backfire, Natalie wonders whether to flee the neighborhood, her new friends, and a new spark of love, or to stay and do justice to her family’s legacy.

This book won my heart and made me cry; it was so soulful and emotional. I was instantly spellbound by Natalie’s frank, beautiful voice; the prose was hypnotic and so wonderful that I could almost feel the heat and smell the seasonings in Natalie’s kitchen. I love magical realism, and this book was a great reminder of that. I devoured this book in a mere matter of hours, less than a day. The pacing was snappy, and the characters in the book felt like new friends. The vibrant, gorgeous neighborhood that Natalie returns to was so real. Natalie, though, was my favorite, and I loved the way that Lim portrayed her relationship with her mother, as well as Chinese culture. This book made me laugh, cry, and squeal, in the best kind of way. Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune is one of my favorite novels of 2019. Yay for diverse books! There wasn’t a single thing about this book that I didn’t love; it was so good! The bottom line: Rich in detail, vibrant, tender and bittersweet, I loved Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune! Next on deck: Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle and Isaac Goodhart!  

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