Well, I am starting my journey across Canada for the Canadian Book Review challenge. I will start with Montreal.
I love Kim Thuy. I have read other books by her before and I am always impressed by how unique her style is and how gripping her stories are. This book doesn’t disappoint in this realm.
The story is about Man who has three mothers. The first one gives birth to her in wartime, the second is a nun who plucks her from a vegetable garden, and lastly her beloved Maman, who becomes a spy to survive.
Seeking security for her grown daughter, Maman finds Man a husband — a lonely Vietnamese restaurateur who lives in Montreal.
Thrown into a new world, Man discovers her natural talent as a chef. Gracefully, she practices her art with food as her medium. She crates dishes that are much more than sustenance for the body: they evoke memory and emotion, time, and place, and even bring her customers to tears.
Man is a mystery–her name means perfect fulfillment, yet she and her husband seem to drift along, respectfully and dutifully. But when she encounters a married chef in Paris, everything changes in the instant of a fleeting touch, and Man discovers the all-encompassing obsession and every-present dangers of a love affair.
The story is full of indelible images of beauty, delicacy and quiet power. Man is a novel that begs to be savoured for its language, its sensuousness and its joie de vivre. It is a triumph of lucid grace and a moving meditation on how love and food are inextricably entwined.
I loved this book from start to finish.