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.
PRAISE FOR NATALIE TAN'S BOOK OF LUCK AND FORTUNE
“Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune is for every reader who likes a side of magic with their foodie fiction. You’ll want to move into the Chinatown neighborhood for the mouth-watering dumplings and the charming, eclectic neighbors. Exquisitely written, Roselle Lim sifts through the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters, the freedom in unraveling family secrets, and the power of resilience.”—Amy E. Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go
“Roselle Lim serves up a feast for the senses and the heart with this magical tale of love, loss, and redemption in San Francisco's Chinatown. Filled with luscious, mouth-watering recipes, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune explores the hidden ties of family, mental illness, and desires lost and found, through the delectably transformative power of food. I had to stop myself from running out to buy juicy roast pork, plump crispy dumplings, and sweet pea sprouts!”—Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Ghost Bride and The Night Tiger
“A truly delicious page-turner, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune is a magical feast for the mind, the heart, and the senses. With mouth-watering prose, crystallized characters, and a healthy dash of magic, Lim has created the perfect recipe for a truly delicious page-turner. I devoured this book. Sign me up for seconds!”—Samantha Verant, author of How to Make a French Family
"Vivid and lyrical with a touch of magic. Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune explores culture, community, and the complex love between mothers and daughters, leaving your heart full…and your belly hungry. I absolutely loved it."—Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient
“What a treat! Reminiscent of Joanne Harris’s bestselling novel, Chocolat, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune is heaped with heart and topped with the sweetest sprinkle of magic, creating a literary and culinary feast. Infused with ancient traditions and tantalizing recipes, Roselle Lim cooks up a mouth-watering tale that’s sure to delight!”—Lori Nelson Spielman, New York Times bestselling author of The Life List
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.78(d)|
About the Author
Roselle Lim is a Filipino-Chinese writer living on the north shore of Lake Erie. She loves to write about food and magic. When she isn't writing, she is sewing, sketching, or pursuing the next craft project.
Reading Group Guide
NATALIE TAN'S BOOK OF LUCK AND FORTUNE
1.How did the relationship dynamics between Qiao and Miranda differ from those between Miranda and Natalie? Is there a repeating pattern, and if so, what is it?
2.Cultural expectations drove Qiao and Miranda apart. What did Qiao expect from her daughter and, consequently, what did Miranda expect from Natalie?
3.The imagery of birds appears throughout the book. When do they occur and what do you believe is the meaning behind each occurrence?
4.Miranda’s agoraphobia debilitated her greatly, from not being able to travel with her husband to not being able to help her daughter after she fell outside. How might her life have turned out differently if she had been able to get help early on?
5.Was Natalie selfish for leaving her mother and traveling all over the world, or is she justified in pursuing her dream?
6.What do you think is the effect of the magical realism incorporated throughout the book?
7.Daniel evokes a strong emotional and physical reaction from Natalie from the very beginning. What makes him different from the previous men in her life? Do his family dynamics affect their relationship in any way?
8.Natalie is used to running away from her problems. At what point does she realize she can’t run away from her troubles at home? What external and internal factors is she running from?
9.Food is a huge element of the book, connecting the residents of the Chinatown neighborhood. How does food impact your own life and the way you interact with others?
10.Natalie’s father is absent throughout most of Natalie’s life, yet clearly he has a large presence in it. How do you think his absence has affected Natalie and the decisions she has made?
11.Were you surprised at the identity of Natalie’s father? In retrospect, in what ways did he act like a father to her?
12.After her mother’s death, Natalie stays at her home with the intention of reviving the neighborhood, but in turn, its residents end up guiding and encouraging her. What are the small and big ways that they help Natalie?