Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
Not a bad read at all
on 8 January 2014
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.