Genre: Food Fiction
Free Food for Millionaires
Casey Han’s four years at Princeton gave her many things, “But no job and a number of bad habits.” Casey’s parents, who live in Queens, are Korean immigrants working in a dry cleaner, desperately trying to hold on to their culture and their identity. Their daughter, on the other hand, has entered into rarified American society via scholarships. But after graduation, Casey sees the reality of having expensive habits without the means to sustain them. As she navigates Manhattan, we see her life and the lives around her, culminating in a portrait of New York City and its world of haves and have-nots. FREE FOOD FOR MILLIONAIRES offers up a fresh exploration of the complex layers we inhabit both in society and within ourselves. Inspired by 19th century novels such as Vanity Fair and Middlemarch, Min Jin Lee examines maintaining one’s identity within changing communities in what is her remarkably assured debut.
The Last Chinese Chef
This book really hits the spot when it comes to food fiction stories. It is beautifully balanced with culinary description, human nature, and cultural awareness. I found myself devouring each word used to depict how a dish was created, how it looked, smelled, felt, tasted, and ultimately moved the diner with intention. Nicole Mones absolutely nails it in her book, The Last Chinese Chef, by using her life experience, having lived and worked in China for 18 years, along with her in depth research coupled with a deep appreciation for the Chinese culture.
Just like watching your own kids grow up, reading Patricia V. Davis’ third book of the Spice Café Trilogy, Demons Well-Seasoned, you feel the passing of time on many levels. As you jump back and forth through time, following the generations in periods of war and peace, you begin to understand each of the characters on a deeper level. You see the rippling effects from past decisions flow into the present lives of the characters who were young in the first two books and now have children of their own.