Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Soy Sauce For Beginners
Gretchen's dream of living in San Francisco, working on a graduate degree, and being happily married, quickly implodes as she discovers her husband's affair with one of his undergrad students. Now she is headed back home to Singapore where her family runs a soy sauce company, a business handed down through three generations.
Gretchen has no plans of staying in her native country, coming only to see her parents, as her mother is dealing with kidney failure due to alcoholism. Since her own personal life is in turmoil, the trip is a chance to come to terms with what is happening to her marriage.
However, although the visit is intended to be short, Gretchen is quickly drawn in to the business drama as her cousin, Cal, tries to sell an inferior quality soy sauce to restaurants. Her college roommate has a job in Gretchen's family's business as well, and as Cal's decisions cause trouble for the company, the two friends find themselves at odds.
A bit of a romance, a bit of a story of friendship, Soy Sauce for Beginners is a story about a woman finding her way and learning how to start over. I love the "foodie" aspect of this novel - and was totally unaware of the varieties of soy sauce and quality could differ so greatly.
Gretchen felt like a friend, and from the first page, I was drawn in to her story.