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Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  3,260 ratings  ·  865 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Berkley Books
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Roselle Lim This book is written for anyone who reads YA or adult fiction.

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Average rating 3.45  · 
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 ·  3,260 ratings  ·  865 reviews

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Culture, family, romance, magic, and food. Oh, the food! Everything about this story can be felt and tasted, and it was such an enjoyable reading experience. I especially appreciated the generous attention given to the importance of preserving heritage and community as shown throughout these pages. However, this review does come with a warning: You most certainly will experience intense cravings for the fragrant dishes referenced here. But some risks are worth taking. Check it out.

My favorite
Helen Hoang
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. It's warm and bubbly and filled with magic, community, and great food. They need to make a movie of it, and you want to read it. And then watch it.
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune by Roselle Lim is a 2019 Berkley publication.

A Whimsical journey of self-discovery, finding one’s niche, and making your dreams come true!

Natalie returns to her Chinatown neighborhood after her mother dies. She hadn’t spoken to her mother in years and her sudden death causes a plethora of old feelings to resurface. Despite the problems she had with her mother, Natalie is filled with regret. She also sees how far the neighborhood has deteriorated since
Susanne  Strong
5 Lovely Stars!

Be Still My Little Heart “Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune” was completed unexpected, an absolute gem! Once I started reading I completely fell for it and I think you will too!

Natalie Tan returns home to Chinatown upon the loss of her mother to whom she had not spoken in seven years. Both had a falling out over Natalie’s chosen career - she wanted to be a chef like her Grandmother, Laolao. Upon returning home, she finds that Chinatown is no longer prospering as it once
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
On sale now! Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

A bitter, ongoing quarrel with her mother about her career plans to be a chef led Natalie Tan to leave her San Francisco home in anger. Seven years of stubborn silence and globe-wandering later, Natalie is called home by a neighbor at her mother’s passing. She still deeply desires to be a chef and to have her own authentic Chinese restaurant, like her grandmother Qiao had done many years earlier, and now she’ll have the chance: Natalie has
What’s that old saying... you can never go home? Maybe so, but what if home is exactly where you need to be?

Natalie Tan gets the call no one wants to receive. Her mother has just passed away in San Francisco. It’s time to go back. The trip made even more difficult given the strained relationship she’d always had with her mother. Natalie had taken a considerably different direction in life than what her mother had hoped for. Maybe Natalie will have a chance to heal old wounds and still follow
Larry H
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

What a wonderful book this was, full of emotion, hope, food, love, and even a little magic. But be warned, you'll be craving Chinese food long after the book has ended!!

Seven years ago, Natalie left her home in San Francisco's Chinatown after she and her mother disagreed about Natalie's choice to become a chef. She wasn't willing to give up her dream and her mother forbade her, so Natalie left and hasn't spoken to her mother since that day. While Natalie hasn't quite succeeded, she has
Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
3.45, I’m still angry of myself for being ruthless grader but that’s how I felt, I know there’s food, lots of food, tons of food, emotional parts, many, too many, heartwarming and tear-jerker parts, so many great anecdotes, remarkable messages but it didn’t resonate with me so I’m unpopular reviewer who is exiled for her punishment in the minority place stars!

I know so many readers enjoyed this book and I swear I liked it in the beginning. But as I learned more details about the characters’

Many thanks to Berkely for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review
Such was the beauty of sadness. It turned the hollowness of the heart into something as beautiful as the loss it suffered.

Well, this is awkward. Being sent ARCs is such a blessing that I can’t even begin to describe but it always makes me feel so bad whenever I end up hating a book I’m sent. That said, they ask for honest. And they’re about to get it. (sorry, Berkley)

So, what’s this book about?
Natalie Tan’s Book
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads, e-books, arcs
“Wishes are worth nothing because there’s so many of them. If they turned into stars, there will be no sky left.”

There is something magical about books in the magic realism genre, I mean not literally because that would be obvious but I mean in my relationship with these books. The first book I read in this genre was a big NO for me, the same for the second when I decided the genre is just not for me and I won’t be reading more books in it. I read 3 books after that because I always realize
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Such a cute, whimsical read!

Natalie Tan is a chef, though her mother never accepts the idea of that career. The two have been estranged for more than seven years when Natalie finds out her mom has passed away.

When Natalie returns home to her beloved Chinatown in San Francisco, she finds it not as exciting and well-performing as it was in her youth. She also finds out she’s the beneficiary of her grandmother’s restaurant.

Natalies visits the neighborhood seer who reads her tea leaves. She
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This book was a delightful surprise. Light, enjoyable, magical and, above all, delicious, as food and savouring food is an integral part of this wonderful debut novel by Roselle Lim.

Natalie Tan gets the worst kind of telephone call. Her agoraphobic mother Miranda was found dead just outside their family house in Chinatown of San Francisco. Natalie left home seven years ago, having committed the worst sin in her culture, the sin of not respecting her mother's wishes. Natalies has always dreamt of
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Natalie Tan returns home to San Francisco’s Chinatown upon hearing of her mother’s death. The estranged women hadn’t spoken in seven years, and Natalie left her troubled mother at home to pursue her dream of becoming a chef. After traveling the world, Natalie is drawn home to discover more than all the restaurants in the world could offer.

She finds herself in a withered version of the neighborhood she knew. Businesses are struggling; relationships are straining; and families are leaving. With
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

This was the book that reconfirmed . . . . .

Despite me really diving back into the world of Chick Lit headfirst this year with no regrets, Natalie Tan proved that deep down I’m still a horrible curmudgeon. The only saving grace?????

(Did you hear that in Paulie D's voice? Thanks to the Jersey Shore Family Vacay reboot this past year my family gets to hear my Paulie impersonation on the regular like today on the first day of school
Katie B
This was a cute story that worked quite well as a lazy Sunday afternoon read. And while the cultural aspects certainly enhanced the story, I do think some other elements fell flat in terms of providing substance. I guess what I'm trying to say is I didn't feel a meaningful connection to the main character and storyline as much as I assume the author was aiming for.

Natalie Tan left the San Francisco Chinatown neighborhood she grew up in with dreams of attending culinary school. Years later she
Vicky Who Reads
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist
This is a book that absolutely demands to be savored. And savor, I did.

It's beautiful and a little heartbreaking and absolutely a masterpiece. Sentimental, but subtle in its execution, Natalie Tan's Book of Love and Fortune is something truly extraordinary with how Natalie explores grief, intergenerational family, and culture, all wrapped up with subtle hints of magic and poetry--and delicious recipes too.
Apr 23, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: arc, ebook
DNF at 46%

I hate to be mean but I'm pretty sure I requested an ARC, not a cookbook. While there is a certain amount of magic described by Lim and the healing art of cooking and connection as found in Chinese culture, I'm sorry to say I was bored instead of bewitched.

This would probably make a great tv adaptation or movie but it fails to enthral as a novel.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Buddy read with Madalyn & Melanie!

3.5 stars. I truly enjoyed a lot of the aspects of this novel - the depictions of food and the process of cooking, the culture that wove itself into the tale, the mix of characters as well. I do think it might translate even better as a film, because it would be so fun to see all the cooking parts in front of my eyes!
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: standalone
With each new debut author from this publisher comes an even more gorgeous cover that just invites the reader to pick it up.

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune was a sweet and charming debut novel.

It was light on romance, which doesn’t make this a traditional romance novel, but also just confirms that illustrated covers can be a bit misleading. Also the romance is built on insta love which was surprising to me – I never would have expected it in this novel. But it makes sense since the
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
*3.5 stars*

This review originally appeared on Novel Ink.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

cw: death of a loved one; grief; agorophobia

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune was such a lovely debut about culture, family, food, home, identity and how they all connect. First and foremost, I will warn you: this book will make you HUNGRY. The recipes Natalie cooks in attempt to heal her neighbors
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

The Buzz

I actually saw this listed on a #YARC2019 twitter recommendation and was so happy that I went for it. I've been neglecting contemporary reads and this was just what I needed. I like that its adult but that new adult aged readers will super identify with it to.

I will admit that the title is a mouthful! I wouldn't have chosen it but it does totally suit the story. And there is something totally perfect about the cover. It suits the
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Natalie, living in Montreal when she learns that her estranged mother has died, goes back to San Francisco’s Chinatown to attend to the details. Her mother suffered from agoraphobia, and Natalie learns how much the people in the community had helped her. Natalie loves to cook (and provides the reader with many recipes), but does she have the talent and the strength of her late grandmother to reopen the family restaurant which closed many years ago? This book had so many things I liked: vividly ...more
I read an early copy of this and enjoyed the way magic and reality met and were woven together to create a truly delicious book that will be a gourmand's delight. I look forward to reading the finished version as I reckon it's going to be even more amazing.
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
“Food comforts and heals, and is the only lover I will ever take.”

Love, comfort, loss, food, heart, and a dash of magic make this truly a book that felt good for the soul. Roselle Lim’s debut novel Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune truly enchanted me! A stunning debut that will put a bit of magic in the heart of even the biggest skeptic.

Natalie Tan has been away from home for some time, when she learns of her mother’s death. Her mother was an agoraphobe, and rarely left home. I loved the
Katie Zhao
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you read a book that makes you cry, that's so deeply personal to your lived experience that it crushes your heart and fills it up at the same time. NATALIE TAN'S BOOK OF LUCK AND FORTUNE is one such book for me.

This book has everything my Chinese diaspora heart could ever want. A strong Chinese heroine who harbors a deep appreciation for her immigrant parents and grandparents; the use of food to bring love and people together; magic in both life, and that which exists beyond our
Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog)
2.5 stars

I think I set myself up for disappointment with Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune. I expected an epic Like Water for Chocolate meets The Joy Luck Club tale. What I got was a cute story, but one that failed to hold my interest.

If you read the synopsis, you pretty much know the entire first half of the book. Nothing substantial is added to the plot and the characters are not particularly developed. The second half of the book is perhaps a bit stronger, but I never felt truly
The idea of exploring the world beyond the dragon gate of San Francisco's Chinatown through a heartwarming story of loss, love, and a dying neighborhood's hope seemed like just the thing. I read this book knowing it was a debut novel and shook my head with surprise because it felt rich in background, setting, situation, and characters in a way that one doesn't normally experience in a first book.

Natalie has been kicking about around the world for the last seven years carrying around hurt pride
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Lim's debut novel is indeed every bit as magical, emotional, and heart warming as it claims to be.

Full of grieving, moving on, finding oneself, and a community coming together to help their own, it truly is one you don't want to miss out on and will leave a lasting impression.

Realistically told with issues that anyone can relate to, it truly was beautifully told as it slowly unfolded and family issues and secrets were revealed and one woman learned to move on, become someone she was always
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am so in love with this book, I don't even have the words!!! Like this is literally a book about how significant food is in Chinese culture - so significant that it has the power to bring people together, rip them apart, and heal an entire community. I'm not Chinese, but in my culture food is also incredibly important. In many ways it's how we connect with each other. To see that connection between food and culture written so beautifully is honestly just amazing.
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Roselle Lim was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada as a child. She lived in north Scarborough in a diverse, Asian neighbourhood.

She found her love of writing by listening to her lola (paternal grandmother's) stories about Filipino folktales. Growing up in a household where Chinese superstition mingled with Filipino Catholicism, she devoured books about mythology, which shaped the
“Anything worth having involves some measure of pain and work. Because of this, you will treasure it more.” 2 likes
“I stared, losing myself in the fond memories of chocolates in their paper shells at Christmas, in the surprise and discovery of the filling inside, the strong, earthy scent of cacao, and the taste of the trinity- the over-the-top sweetness of the white chocolate, the smooth finish of milk, and the bitterness of the dark.” 0 likes
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