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Saturday, May 2, 2020

Two Reviews: The Cookbook Club and Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop

I recently read advanced review copies of two novels that helped me kick my book blockage. Neither is out just yet, so you'll have to make sure you add them to your TBR list for later. 

The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison is about three women who come together through a cookbook club. Margo has just been dumped by her husband--he's moving to San Francisco without her. She's really annoyed because she's been unhappy for a long time, but felt like she couldn't rock the boat and leave the marriage. And then her husband dumps her! Aja is in a relationship with an older, wealthy businessman who doesn't treat her very well. And, she's got a secret she won't be able to hid much longer. Finally, there's Trista, who left her lawyer job and bought a bar. She's got a lot of work to do to make the bar a success and may be in over her head. 

A trio of unlikely friends, yet their monthly cookbook club has all three women indulging in their love of food and developing a strong friendship. The food in this novel is mouthwatering, and features a lot of familiar cookbooks. This novel was a short, quick read that put a smile on my face. Loved it. 

It's not out in the U.S. until October! Ugh. Something to look forward to for cool nights later this year. I give it a 4/6 for a fun novel with likable characters. It has inspired me to try new dishes this summer. 




Roselle Lim's second novel was just as much fun as her first novel, Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune. Vanessa Yu has a big family in Palo Alto, California. She's an accountant who works for the family tea business. It's an okay job, but not what she really wants to do. Vanessa is also one of two people in her big family that has the gift of prophecy. Yes, she's a fortune teller, and it's something Vanessa has tried to avoid her whole life. They come out of the blue, and she can't help but spit them out, whether they are good or bad fortunes. Her Aunt Evelyn is also a fortune teller, and has managed her gift so well it's effortless. A few terrible fortunes for two family members force Vanessa to realize she needs to embrace her gift and learn to control it. Off to Paris she goes with Aunt Evelyn, who is opening a special tea shop in a quaint neighborhood. 

In Paris, Vanessa's love of food and art sends her out and about, and bumping into a potential love interest-even though she knows it will never last. And she suspects there's something Aunt Evelyn is keeping secret; the reason she's moved to Paris and left her whole family behind. How will Vanessa learn to control her gift and be able to find her true calling? 

This was such a fun book to read. Again, another book with so much delicious food that you'll find it hard not to drool. Add in some delicious tea blends and a bit of magic, and you'll love this perfect summer read. 

This novel will be out in early August, 2020 in the U.S. A perfect end of summer read. 
Rating: 4/6 for a magical novel about love, family loyalty, art, happiness, and taking chances. And the food! Yum! 


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