Really enjoyed this book. Agree with CharlieO about the pace and plot development. Well crafted and delicious read.
Not something I would normally pickup but it was a Book club selection. I enjoyed the depth of respect that is shown to food and its reflection in the culture of China. Oh, and there's also a plot concerning a widow, a chef, a contest and a paternity suit. The story unravels delicately and without rush. Recommended for food lovers and lovers.
I have read all of Nicole Mones' books, enjoying them greatly, especially because of personal experience in China. This one was good but not as well written as the others. There are some situations that are not believable, for instance, engaging in a serious conversation on the side line of a crisis preparing the banquet. One can learn a lot about the importance of food in Chinese culture.
For anyone interested in Chinese food, history and romance this is a wonderful read. Maggie, a widowed American food writer, finds herself faced with a paternity suit against her late husband. She goes to Beijing to find out if the claim is legitimate and is given an assignment profiling Sam Liang, a rising American-Chinese chef. As she learns about the history of Sam's family and its deep connections to the great imperial kitchens of the past, she finds her senses reawakened and her feelings for all things Chinese intensified.
Absolutely gorgeous story. I loved the explanations of Chinese culinary history and it's relationship to art, culture, and family. Juxtaposed with a broken heart and a surprising love story, "The Last Chinese Chef" is both an interesting and a beautiful read.
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