Yes you’re seeing this right. This is my third blog tour post this month which proves that your beloved bookdragon is THRIVING. Thank you once more to Raf @ theroyalpolarbearreads for including me in this tour. The amount of trust you have for me is astounding.
Check out the blog tour schedule below and read more posts about this wonderful book of magic and food!
Note: All the quotes used in this post are from an uncorrected proof and are still subject to change.
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.
Oh boy this book gave me all the fuzzy feelings in the world. I’m so glad that it’s going to be adapted into a TV series! I drafted this post a week ago where I basically screamed to have this book adapted and now it’s finally going to happen (which also prompted this last-minute editing). That is definitely what this book deserves.
HERE ARE MORE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD READ NATALIE TAN’S BOOK OF LUCK AND FORTUNE:
• HELLO FOOOOOD
It will be a huge disservice to the book if I don’t mention the glorious food content that made me drool about a hundred times per page (oh wow that’s a disgusting image). As a huge foodie*, I really applaud Roselle Lim for screaming FOOD RIGHTS and making this the most delicious book in existence. There are also actual recipes inside that you can use if cooking is your thing.
I also appreciate that this book features Filipino dishes as well. If you’ve been to the Philippines, you might be aware that our country boasts a lot of delicious food. This is a huge factor why eating is one of my primary hobbies. It just made me so happy to see some of my favorite dishes in these pages.
“Arroz caldo was comfort food, a Filipino-style congee. The dish was golden, warm, comforting—just like Celia herself.”
• Yes to magical realism
Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune is filled with magic that can warm the heart. At first, I thought this book was just a cutesy contemporary but in fact, it is of the magic realism genre. There’s something about it that lifts the spirit. Roselle Lim’s whimsical writing and poetic descriptions made this book even more magical.
“I dipped my spoon into the cream side, heaping the rice into my bowl. This was comfort in my time of need, nourishment and a sense of stability when grief threatened to crumble the earth from under me. After this meal, I would face the emptiness left by Ma-ma’s passing.”
• It features the found family trope
Another thing that I loved about Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune is how it shows that family can be found in unexpected places. In this book, Natalie returns to her hometown after receiving news of her mother’s untimely death. Going home after seven years made her realize that the neighbors she once resented were the ones who helped her mother when she wasn’t there.
It was heartwarming to read about Natalie’s passion to help her neighbors. I now have a soft spot for all the side characters who eventually became Natalie’s family. This book has three-dimensional characters we can all identify with.
• It addresses serious issues as well
Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune talks about mental illness and the stigma surrounding it. In this book, Natalie’s mother suffered from agoraphobia, anxiety, and depression. This is my first time reading about agoraphobia in fiction and this book made me understand it better. Roselle Lim’s vivid writing made it possible for me to connect with the struggles of Miranda (Natalie’s mom) and helped me in understanding Natalie’s pain as well.
“Sadness isn’t something I can ever shake. Wherever I go, she follows. She ties me to the bed and holds me down until I have no energy to get up. She robs me of any small joy like stealing the sweetness away from sticky sesame balls or the tangy note from sliced green mangoes.”
• It’s an encouraging read
I really felt empowered while reading this book. Well, not empowered to cook exactly (cooking hates me) but to follow what my heart desires. Natalie’s tale made me realize that the passion to do what you love is the true key to happiness and success.
☝ I’m sounding like a legit motivational speaker should I pursue this career or nah
I also love the fact that there are a lot of strong-willed women in this book. Natalie’s family, for example, consists of inspiring women who persevered in the face of difficulties.
“The tiniest speck of hope arose from the ashes of my failure. My grandmother had learned to stand on her own after crossing an ocean. My mother had raised me alone even while tormented by her lingering demons. I was a product of these strong women. Ma-ma’s final request to follow my dreams was within my reach.”
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Do you enjoy reading books from the magical realism genre? Is Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune in your TBR?