Monday, January 21, 2008

The Last Chinese Chef. Guest Reviewer, Anna Jacobs

My guest reviewer this time is novelist Anna Jacobs, who has chosen to review The Last Chinese Chef, by Nicole Mones.
Anna Jacobs is the author of 42 novels with more in the pipeline. She writes historical sagas for one UK publisher and modern family relationships novels for another. Her latest saga is ‘Tomorrow’s Promises’ about what happened to women who’d done men’s jobs during World War I after the war ended. Her latest modern novel is ‘Family Connections’ a story of families in Australia and England, who didn’t know about their relatives overseas. The first chapters can be read on her web site.


The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones

Maggie is a food writer. She hasn’t really moved on after her husband’s death - except literally, to live on a house boat. Then suddenly she learns of a paternity claim against her late husband from a Chinese woman and goes to investigate. She doesn’t believe it. They were happily married. Yes, he went to China regularly, but he wouldn’t be unfaithful.
Her editor asks her to fit in an assignment at the same time, to write about the rising Chinese chef, Sam Liang. Maggie doesn’t usually write about exotic cuisines overseas, but in the end she accepts the assignment.
Investigating the claim takes longer than she’d expected and she also works on the story. She gets on well with Sam, who is half American, but who is immersed in classical Chinese cuisine. The experience gradually transforms Maggie and she develops a deep love for the food Sam cooks. There is far more to real Chinese food than she’d realized, and it’s nothing like the Chinese food served in America.
If you like Chinese food, learning about other cultures and gentle love stories, you’ll enjoy this book. I regularly read three novels a week and this is one of the 5 standout books I’ve read in the last twelve months. My husband read it and felt the same. It was a wonderful tale and I was so sad when it ended. But the ending was just right.
What more can an author offer the reader?

No comments: