Title: Soy Sauce for Beginners
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Date published: January 1, 2014
Source: Kindle Unlimited
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.Surrounded by family, Gretchen struggles with the tension between personal ambition and filial duty, but still finds time to explore a new romance with the son of a client, an attractive man of few words. When an old American friend comes to town, the two of them are pulled into the controversy surrounding Gretchen’s cousin, the only male grandchild and the heir apparent to Lin’s Soy Sauce. In the midst of increasing pressure from her father to remain permanently in Singapore—and pressure from her mother to do just the opposite—Gretchen must decide whether she will return to her marriage and her graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory, or sacrifice everything and join her family’s crusade to spread artisanal soy sauce to the world.
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.
Before I get into the review of the book, I want to say that I felt Nancy Wu did a wonderful job as a narrator, and I plan on listening to more of her work (seriously, I already have the other two of her works available on KU downloaded into my phone).
As someone who has been through divorce, similar to Gretchen's, in that there were no assets or children involved, so I could easily relate to how she was feeling. I do enjoy when I can form an emotional connection to a character. I remember the confusion and how much I struggled during those times.
My favorite part would have to be getting to experience the culture of the privileged of Singapore. I found it fascinating, and the setting was done so vividly that I could easily picture it as I read/listened.
I now have a deeper appreciation for soy sauce after reading this. I was never a big fan of it before, as it is too salty for my taste, but I'd like to experience the flavors talked about in this story. Especially with the Sprite.
The end, although I noticed it bothered many people, didn't upset me. I like open endings. It means I can reflect on the multiple possibilities.