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43 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nostalgic hit and close to home
apologies for the poor punctuation, typing via kindle is not an easy feat. the book is a pleasant surprise for a kindle daily deal. perhaps being asian, chinese, lived in singapore and moving many times around the world, the book is especially poignant. while this is not an excuse to be selfish, whom has not been stuck in a static state and acted out when life throws you...
Published 15 months ago by Nottsreader

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy going
A gentle story about a woman taking over the running of her family's soy sauce company in Singapore. A nice introduction to the country and an undemanding read. This isn't meant to be great art but it's well written and manages to create a sense of nostalgia for a time and country that I've never lived in.
Published 8 months ago by dot dot dot


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nostalgic hit and close to home, 14 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Soy Sauce for Beginners (Kindle Edition)
apologies for the poor punctuation, typing via kindle is not an easy feat. the book is a pleasant surprise for a kindle daily deal. perhaps being asian, chinese, lived in singapore and moving many times around the world, the book is especially poignant. while this is not an excuse to be selfish, whom has not been stuck in a static state and acted out when life throws you a curveball? and also being an avid fan of kikkoman, i understand the importance of soy sauce. i love this book and the subtle observations of daily life resonated really well with me. perhaps not to the level of introversion extraodinaire jhumpa lahiri but a fantastic debut, nevertheless. will be looking forward to the next book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad read at all, 8 Jan. 2014
By 
ElaineG (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Soy Sauce for Beginners (Kindle Edition)
This is a book which took me a while to get into, but once I did I quite enjoyed the read. It is the story of Gretchen who returns to Singapore and the family soy sauce factory after years of living in San Francisco following the break up of her marriage. I really enjoyed reading about the factory and the history of it, as well as Singapore itself. As for the food descriptions, well they just made me hungry although I found it ironic that surrounded by all the wonderful food, Gretchen preferred to eat junk food most of the time.

It is a story of family traditions versus the modern way of life and about the choices we have to make in life. Should Gretchen stay and help run the factory which would please her father or should she return to San Francisco which would please her mother? Is there a place for her in either city? Sometimes I felt the story was just a little unnecessarily wordy, although every now and then there are some real pearls of chinese wisdom in there.

Whilst on the whole I enjoyed the read, I think I would have preferred it more if Gretchen had been a nicer person. She came across as not really wanting to get involved with anyone, even her own family, and in her own mind she could be quite scathing about her friends at times and didn't really treat any of them particularly well. For the most part the story is quite slow moving as it builds up all the background information but I did think the last couple of chapters, when Gretchen finally makes up her mind what she wants to do felt a little rushed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle read, 26 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Soy Sauce for Beginners (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Many other reviewers have given a synopsis of the book which I will not repeat. It may be predictable but, actually, I didn't find it distracting. I thought it was well written and, in fact, I found the writing style reminded me of Pat Jackson's Too Long To Die (another excellent book). My only criticism is that I don't think that September is the beginning of summer in San Francisco - unless I have misread the paragraph!

A great story and I can't wait for the next book.

P.S. How about some of these fantastic recipes using soy sauce being added at the end? Just a suggestion!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... were woven around the history of the product made wonderful reading. I loved it, 15 July 2014
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This review is from: Soy Sauce for Beginners (Kindle Edition)
The descriptions of the making of soy sauce to the traditional recipe were fascinating and the story of the family dynamics which were woven around the history of the product made wonderful reading. I loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Soy sauce for Beginners", 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Soy Sauce for Beginners (Kindle Edition)
An unusual choice for me but I quite enjoyed the change, there were some unusual and funny parts to the story which I liked.
A good read if unusual.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not a cookbook or travelogue, 18 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Soy Sauce for Beginners (Kindle Edition)
About to visit Singapore I chose this book hoping it would introduce me to the delights of this small Asian country, in this respect I was disappointed but I enjoyed learning the process of producing Soy sauce and grappled with the complicated life and mind of Gretchen, disappointed in love and torn between two cultures. The story proves how difficult it can be growing up within ones own mindset.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Easy going, 6 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Soy Sauce for Beginners (Kindle Edition)
A gentle story about a woman taking over the running of her family's soy sauce company in Singapore. A nice introduction to the country and an undemanding read. This isn't meant to be great art but it's well written and manages to create a sense of nostalgia for a time and country that I've never lived in.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice read, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Soy Sauce for Beginners (Kindle Edition)
A good read about our love for those in our lives; partner, family and friends.
Chen highlights he importance and influence of these relationships in our lives.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A book worth a read, 29 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Soy Sauce for Beginners (Kindle Edition)
Havn't read it all yet but it is interesting enough especially as I know Singapore quite well.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 29 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Soy Sauce for Beginners (Kindle Edition)
Quite a good read with interesting character and settings. I also enjoyed learning about the craft of making Soy sauce!
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