Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim

Description

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 FORTUNENatalie 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, ChocolatNatalie 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

I really enjoyed this novel about life, family, and love in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It had the “magical realism” feel of Sarah Addison Allen or Alice Hoffman, along with the every day life trials and tribulations of the protagonist. It also included recipes! There are a lot of layers here, with family relationships, neighborhood characters, and romance. It would make a great bookclub discussion, along with Chinese food!

Thank you for my review copy via Net Galley!

From CookBook to Real Life! Eating at HEARTH in NYC

On our recent trip to NYC, we made a reservation to eat at Hearth, Marco Canora’s restaurant in Manhatten. Last year I read Marco’s cookbook A GOOD FOOD DAY and loved loved loved it!

See my post about it here!

Since the rugrats were at summer camp, we figured this was the best time to have a new dining experience.

Hearth is located off First Avenue on 12th Street in a cute little brick building. It felt very cozy and was lit by candles (thus the dim pictures — sorry).

My husband ordered the Restaurant Week menu, which was prix fixe (it was “restaurant week in NYC when we were there). It included really yummy meatballs and a cheese course for dessert.

I ordered the grilled pork chop with pork sausage, summer kale, and peach balsamic. Yum!!

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My husband and I shared a side dish of mushroom trifolati. That was a new term for me, and I always have to ask a million questions when we dine because I am allergic to some things. It means they were fried with olive oil, garlic, and parsley, and let me tell you – I wanted to lick the bowl! (but I didn’t..after all, we were in a nice place!).

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For dessert, we shared a yummy piece of tiramasu cake:

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And then – to my excitement, they brought out a chocolate tray with chocolates from around the world!

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You could sample as much as you wanted – they all had differing amounts of cocoa in them. Of course, we were behaving, so we each tried two different ones. Yummy!!

Our server was super nice and took good care of me and my allergies (shellfish and cilantro). They also had a nice wine selection (we chose a Cote de Rhone I believe).

All in all, visiting HEARTH was a bit of a dream come true since I’m such a fan of Marco’s cookbook!

Check out Hearth’s website at http://www.restauranthearth.com/ You can read about their mission and philosophy of food.

Or even better — check it out the next time you are in NYC!