Author: Kim Thúy
Published: August 26th, 2015
This story follows the life story of a girl named Mãn. We discover that Mãn has had three mothers throughout her lifetime; one being her birthmother, the second a nun who rescued her from a potentially tragic fate, and her third mother that (who goes by Maman) had to become a spy to support Mãn.
In order to secure a better life for her daughter Maman is entrusted to find Mãn a husband. Maman finds a restaurant owner, and Mãn discovers that she is not only passionate, but talented in the kitchen.
This story explore the culinary side of Mãn’s life, but also the emotional turbulence that come along with it.
Who was my favourite character and why?
This novella consisted of very short chapters ranging from one paragraph to 2 pages long. Because the chapters were concise, I felt I could not chose a favourite character out of the handful of main characters to chose from.
Were the characters relatable and/or believable?
The characters were believable, but not so much relatable. Mãn’s experiences and abilities in and out of the kitchen are unlike anyone’s I know. Therefore, I believe this story represents a sense of originality and uniqueness.
Did the story keep you on the edge of your seat?
I enjoyed the parts of this novella, where Mãn was in the kitchen perfecting a recipe or creating a new dish altogether. I found those portions of this book the most fascinating and surprisingly gripping.
Something I would change about the novel?
At first I found the format of the novel, and the shorter chapters difficult to read through, but as the novel progressed, I became more and more acclimatized to this interesting format.
Overall, if you enjoy food (and who doesn’t), an interesting story about a girl with a complicated back story then you should absolutely pick this book up and read it this summer.
I would give this novel 3 out of 5 tea mugs, an interesting read!
Have you read Mãn? Will you be picking up it up this summer? Let me know in the comments!
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Until next time,