Kitchen Chinese

Kitchen Chinese

Book - 2010
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Isabelle Lee thinks she knows everything about Chinese cuisine. After all, during her Chinese-American childhood, she ate it every day. Isabelle may speak only kitchen Chinese--the familial chatter learned at her mother's knee--but she understands the language of food. Now, in the wake of a career-ending catastrophe, she's ready for a change. So she takes off to Beijing to stay with her older sister Claire, whom she's never really known, and finds a job writing restaurant reviews for an expat magazine. In the midst of her extreme culture shock, and the more she comes to learn about her sister's own secrets, Isabelle can't help but wonder whether coming to China was a mistake...or an extraordinary chance to find out who she really is.
Publisher: New York : Avon A, 2010
Edition: 1st Avon pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780061771279
0061771279
Branch Call Number: F MAH NVD
Characteristics: 339 p. ; 21 cm

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tcgirl Dec 27, 2012

somewhat interesting novel about a Chinese American girl who moves to Bejing but with a disappointing ending. I would have liked to see the issues with her sister explored in more depth.

f
FlatCat
Nov 28, 2010

"Kitchen Chinese" was an enjoyably fluffy and light read. While not quite on par with the works of Amy Tan, and the like, the story is never-the-less engaging, and the descriptions of Chinese cuisine enticing. My greatest complaint is that Isabelle (the protagonist) can at times be painfully daft, and I had to cringe as her own misunderstandings piled up. Yet, in spite of a rather unbelievable level of bullheadedness, she is a likable character portraying an honest experience. I had to keep reading because I wanted to see her happy in the end. While this is no literary masterpiece, it was with a sense of satisfaction that I finished it.
I can recommend "Kitchen Chinese" to someone looking for a light, easy read. There are no great challenges, just a simple narrative of an Chinese-American woman's experience. Sometimes those simple, light, at times ridiculous sort of romances are what you need.

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