cover image Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune

Roselle Lim. Berkley, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-984803-25-2

Lim serves up love, loss, heritage, and hints of the supernatural on a silver platter in this magical and mouthwatering debut. Seven years after aspiring chef Natalie Tan’s relationship with her agoraphobic mother ends in a blazing fight, Natalie’s mother dies, and Natalie returns to the apartment they shared in San Francisco’s Chinatown to plan her mother’s funeral. She finds the lively neighborhood where she grew up on the verge of economic collapse and her childhood home full of secrets. Among them is the boarded-up ground-level space they lived above—Natalie’s grandmother’s famed Chinese restaurant, now her inheritance. Everyone who looks at Natalie sees her mother and grandmother, often before they see Natalie for herself, and she feels haunted by her ancestors’ successes as much as by her own failures. When a mystic predicts Natalie’s attempts to revive the eatery will succeed only if she uses her grandmother’s recipes, Natalie undertakes the mammoth task of resurrecting both her lost culinary dreams and her family legacy, and the neighborhood she abandoned soon feels like the one place she’s meant to be. This eminently filmable tale of finding one’s own path while honoring one’s history is delicious and spellbinding. (June)