Thursday, June 13, 2019

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

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck & Fortune

Roselle Lim

Release Date:
June 11, 2019

Berkley Books

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Finished Copy in exchange for a honest review

Book Synopsis:
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. 

"Vivid and lyrical with a touch of magic."--Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient

Ro's Take on This Journey:

After 7 year's, Natalie returns to her home town, Chinatown, in San Francisco, upon hearing of her mother's passing.  She is racked with guilt over not reaching out after so much time to fulfill her filial duties.  Others in the town befriended her mother and took the place of Natalie, with her mother's agoraphobia.  

Natalie returns, a failed culinary student, yet the dream still is alive in her heart.  She finds herself at a leaf reader, who tells her what she must do to make amends to make her Grandmother's old restaurant a success, and help the neighborhood once again to thrive.

Natalie's Grandmother, Laoao, was a phenomenal chef, and a pioneer in her day, and was the toast of China Town.  Natalie's desires run deep with the desires they both shared, but which Natalie was never told by her mother.  Natalie carries a lot of resentment towards the store front town that has become a kind of ghost town, because she carries thoughts from her past with her mother that made her feel all alone.  Little did she know how wrong she was.  

Natalie is fiercely independent, and determined to make amends, be a success, and keep her town from disappearing.  There is a great shadow that she must penetrate, and more to the eye than just making phenomenal dishes.  

Ms. Lim's magical novel will take you over.  The succulent recipes sounded wonderful, and made me feel like I was in heaven!  I love Chinese food, and culture.  It was a must read book for me. I could picture each dish, and the beauty of the artful construction.  

I give Natalie Tan's Book of Luck & Fortune, 4 magical Prose, repairing of the soul, mysterious, intriguing, romantic, finding answers to all of Natalie's questions stars!

This novel was pieced together perfectly and was eventually a feel good experience; from sad to happy to fulfilling...A great read!

Quote:  The Chinese custom of swallowing one's misery."

Book Quote:

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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." 

She is represented by Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency.


  1. I like the elements and it sounds like the author weaved it together in a delightful way.

  2. Oh it looks nice and the cover is really sweet!

  3. All the food in this book had me salivating, but what I really adored was the community aspect Lim created in this story. It was beautiful. I would not have minded more of the romance, because Daniel was so fantastic, but I did enjoy Natalie's journey of self discovery as she un covered more and more details about her mother and grandmother.

  4. This one delighted me, too. Loved the magical realism and focus around food and neighbors.

  5. This sounds fantastic and I definitely one I want to check out after your amazing review. I don't think I've read anything quite like this one before and that's always exciting!!

    Sharrice @Reese's Reviews

  6. Natalie sounds a lot like me, besides sharing the same name! I would love to try some of her recipes!

  7. This sounds like a good summer read.

  8. This sounds interesting, I'll definitely check it out!

  9. This sounds great, I love that there are recipes mixed in.

  10. This sounds like an interesting read, considering Natalie failed, she doesn't let her dream die! Great review Ro!


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