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She and Sam hit it off right away, even though he is involved in a very important competition for a place on the Chinese national cooking team for the 2008 Olympics. They travel together to the south of China where she meets her husband's possible daughter--with Sam standing by to act as translator--and where Maggie meets much of Sam's family. He has been welcomed back with open arms, even though he occasionally feels that he has one foot in China and one in Ohio. The Beijing uncles and the Hangzhou uncle are a raucous, loving, argumentative bunch of foodies who advise Sam about menus, encourage a romance with Maggie, make him start over again when the dish isn't perfect, and alternately praise and criticize his cooking.
Maggie loves being in the middle of it all and finds herself more and more drawn to Sam. She begins, with Sam's help, to see food as "healing" and understands the guanxi or "connectedness" that takes place around food. At the beginning of each chapter is a paragraph taken from a book entitled The Last Chinese Chef, written by Sam's grandfather and translated by Sam and his father. Mones has written that book, too, which is an explanation of the place of food in Chinese history and family life. The novel is rich with meaning and lore and an examination of loving relationships. Don't even touch this book when you're hungry. The descriptions make the aromas and textures float right off the page. --Valerie Ryan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This was a very well written book.
With the support of her boss, Maggie travelled to China to investigate the claim as well as to write about a new restaurant opened by a Chinese-American chef.
This was a beautifully written book, not only full of interesting information about the history and culture of Chinese food but also a love story.
This is the first book I've read this year that I didn't want to put down. I really enjoyed the family and relationship stories woven around food while increasing my awareness of... Read morePublished 9 hours ago by Josie
I enjoyed this book a lot. It prompted me to think of having a theme on novels about cooking for our book club for a year (or half of the year).Published 1 day ago by Cynthia Ophidia
Great story! Loved the way the author described the various dishes. Made my mouth water for some good Chinese food. Read morePublished 2 days ago by lori a. wollard
Enjoyed the book. The characters and the food,oh my! And the family relationships, so different from the ones I know in the states. Read morePublished 3 days ago by dumbo
Good read with lots of cultural food education along the way.Published 4 days ago by Harvey A Stone
A very enjoyable read with interesting characters, a fascinating insight into Chinese culture and cuisine, and a delightfully romantic thread running through it.Published 4 days ago by MJW
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. For fans of food and travel books this is our cup of tea. The plot was well thought out and had a satisfying ending. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Marilyn M. Thomson
Good read interesting history of Chinese cuisine culture values an relationships. Made me hungry for the real Chinese food in CHinsPublished 8 days ago by w.l.barker
Having many asian friends and loving their food and their rituals, I fell in love with this book. Now I understand their methods and how some things that I learned as a child are... Read morePublished 16 days ago by judyGrant