Friday, January 15, 2010

OFF THE MENU by Christine Son

Women's Fiction
New American Library
Sensuality Rating: Sensuous
ISBN# 978-0-451-22417-0
350 Pages
$14.00 Trade Paperback
Available August 2008

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Whitney Lee is working 24/7 in a law firm. Her immigrant parents are very proud of their workaholic daughter. Secretly, Whitney wants to ditch the law firm and sing. She is very talented musically, but her parents would never accept this choice of career from her.

Hercules Huang owns several of the best restaurants in town and is very successful. She has a strained relationship with her father. She also has a secret wish which is to fall in love, but is too busy.

Audrey Henley is in love and has a great relationship with her fiancé, attending graduate school and working towards being a professor. Her parents aren't too thrilled about her fiancé and thinks he is using her to get to their money.

All three girls are part of the Valedictorians. This story is of their relationships with each other, with their parents and with their significant others. The book also tells of living in America as Asian women. Their lives intertwine until their dreams come to fruition.

OFF THE MENU moves quickly and is well written; it speaks well of living in America as Asian women, with its problems and advantages. It is a great story of living as a people-pleaser while trying to achieve one's own dream, which oftentimes clash. The ending is happy if a little predictable. All in all, I really enjoyed the read. Since I am a people pleaser, it taught me to follow my dreams once in a while.

Even though these girls are best friends, they all keep secrets from each other. In the end, the secrets come out and each one has a surprising reaction to the others. They end up being a huge support system for each other. If only they would have opened up to each other sooner. Ms. Son captured what happens in relationships so eloquently.

Ms. Son is a Korean-American living in Texas. She was inspired by her own family experiences as well as those of her Korean friends to write an authentic novel. Ms. Son can be reached at

Sandy Maffeo
Enchanting Reviews
February 2009

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