Gretchen Lin, adrift at the age of thirty, leaves her floundering marriage in San Francisco to move back to her childhood home in Singapore and immediately finds herself face-to-face with the twin headaches she’s avoided her entire adult life: her mother’s drinking problem and the machinations of her father’s artisanal soy sauce business.
Soy Sauce for Beginners reveals the triumphs and sacrifices that shape one woman’s search for a place to call home, and the unexpected art and tradition behind the brewing of a much-used but unsung condiment. The result is a foodie love story that will give readers a hearty appreciation for family loyalty and fresh starts.
I was initially drawn in by the soy sauce. Not even going to lie. And let me just tell you, the descriptions of the artesian soy sauce had my mouth watering. The soy sauce almost becomes a character itself. Anyway, I'm salivating.
Gretchen is hiding. From her cheating husband, from her colleagues, from her own parents, and even from herself. Reeling from the scathing revelation that not only was her husband unfaithful, but with a twenty-one year old, no less, she returns home to Singapore and attempts to blend in a much as possible.
But she surprises no one more than herself with the unwilling changes that she is about to face.
My favorite thing about this story is how, in the end, Gretchen needs no one but herself. She makes her own choices, and faces the consequences.
My only complaint about this story is that there is sort of a lack of one. This comes off like more of an anecdote from a friend than a novel. I appreciated the familiarity in the writing. The characters felt real to me. I just kept waiting for something more to happen, and it never really came.
So, I'm giving this one three stars. Enjoyable read. I'm counting it as #6, A book by an author you have never read before.
Now I am just itching, yearning to get home to my library and find something else to read. I have been craving a really good book for some time now. I'm talking life changing. Here's to hoping!