Tag Archives: Set in Singapore

Soy Sauce for Beginners by Kirstin Chen


Country Set in: Singapore
My Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary: Gretchen Lin, adrift at the age of thirty, leaves her floundering marriage in San Francisco to move back to her childhood home in Singapore and immediately finds herself face-to-face with the twin headaches she’s avoided her entire adult life: her mother’s drinking problem and the machinations of her father’s artisanal soy sauce business.

Surrounded by family, Gretchen struggles with the tension between personal ambition and filial duty, but still finds time to explore a new romance with the son of a client, an attractive man of few words. When an old American friend comes to town, the two of them are pulled into the controversy surrounding Gretchen’s cousin, the only male grandchild and the heir apparent to Lin’s Soy Sauce. In the midst of increasing pressure from her father to remain permanently in Singapore—and pressure from her mother to do just the opposite—Gretchen must decide whether she will return to her marriage and her graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory, or sacrifice everything and join her family’s crusade to spread artisanal soy sauce to the world.

Soy Sauce for Beginners reveals the triumphs and sacrifices that shape one woman’s search for a place to call home, and the unexpected art and tradition behind the brewing of a much-used but unsung condiment. The result is a foodie love story that will give readers a hearty appreciation for family loyalty and fresh starts.

I love soy sauce in fact while reading this book I found myself craving Asian cuisine.  I have never had artisan soy sauce but that being said I would be willing to give it a try and now I am really wanting to go to  a soy sauce tasting.

In short, I absolutely loved this book. When I read the reviews I was concerned I may be on the ones who didn’t like this book but I wasn’t.  I found Gretchen very believable, I felt she was someone that if she was real I would be her friend.  She is going through real situations and they have an effect on her decisions every day and untimely her choices lead her to take a new path in life.

This story was not a story where the main character has a perfect existence she has real struggles, she has real dilemmas.  She felt very real.

I also loved how this book was not about the main character finding love it was about her finding peace in life.  I am finding that lately books are all about a woman finding love and that is what makes her happy not making decisions about her life that lead to her happiness.

She has problems with friends, family and her relationships.

She was flawed, she was raw she was real.  I don’t think I can stress this enough the fact that this character was not perfect is why I love this book, I love the book even more because it wasn’t about her pining over a man.  A

Actually I take that back, she did have some issues she wanted to get back with ex husband but I think that was because she wasn’t ready for change not because he existence was about a man.

I think this book is for anyone struggling to adapy to change and for those that love to eat.   All the talk about soy sauce will make you crave Asian cuisine.