Friday, June 14, 2019

"Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune"

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.

Lim applied the Page 69 Test to her debut novel, Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune, and reported the following:
From page 69:
Nothing made me happier than the act of cooking. My happiest memories were of spending time in the kitchen with Ma-ma as we prepared our meals. The best cooks doubled as magicians, uplifting moods and conjuring memories through the medium of food.
The above opens Chapter Eight, and it captures the soul of the book. Cooking and food play a central role in bringing the characters together, while Natalie’s relationship with Miranda, her mother, is the heart of the novel.

A common thread throughout the story is how kinship are navigated using the language of food. Natalie cooks magical dishes for her neighbors to help them and, in doing so, she begins to understand their hopes, desires, and foibles. She realizes she can no longer keep herself apart from her community.

Natalie’s journey to confront the grief from her mother’s death and to find her own path changes her. Like most mothers-and-daughters, the relationship between Natalie and Miranda is complicated. It is full of love, but not always acceptance or understanding. Natalie’s growth comes from her reconciliation of the past with her desired future.

The page 69 test showcases the two essential themes of the book.
Visit Roselle Lim's website.

--Marshal Zeringue