Natalie Tan’s Book of Love and Fortune is a delightful summer read. It’s got good food, a Chinatown community, and more than enough heart to guide you through. I confess to reading it in a single day, and loving every moment of it–even the sad parts, because well, there have to be sad parts so there can be happy parts.
Natalie Tan returns home to San Francisco’s Chinatown after her mother passes away after several years of estrangement. She is surprised at the dilapidation she sees and equally surprised to learn that she’s inherited her grandmother’s old restaurant and a mysterious recipe book. And so the adventure begins, as Natalie learns more about her family, her neighborhood, and her passion.
Aside from providing a good story, I also want to call out this one line that stopped me in my tracks: “We Chinese wore our guilt like jade: pressed against our skin, displayed with pride, and always inherited.” I mean, WHEW, nailed it in one.
But really, this book is full of delightful characters, tons of heart, a little bit of magic, and even a few recipes worth trying, I highly recommend.