Novel Approach: Roselle Lim's latest book is a delightful confection

“She doesn’t think it’s a good idea to know the future, because you can hardly ever change it, so why suffer twice?” —Margaret Atwood

The future, will it be bright, will it be dark? We won’t know until we get there. Unless you’re like the protagonist of our latest read, who finds herself saddled with the unwanted ability to predict the future. Ignorance is bliss, at least that’s what the protagonist of our latest novel believes when she transports us to the cobbled streets of Paris.

Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim

Like the decadently buttery crunch of a croissant, Roselle Lim’s latest novel “Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop” is a delightfully tasty read.

Lim’s writing infuses savory flavors with the magical quality of her tale as she blends the bitter misfortune of her protagonist with the sugary notes of love, fortune telling and French cuisine into this perfectly baked novel.

Vanessa is a fortune teller who hates her gift. After a series of disastrous predictions, Vanessa turns to her Aunt Evelyn, a talented clairvoyant, in the hopes of controlling her ability. Her aunt agrees to help her under the condition that Vanessa accompanies her to Paris to help her with the opening of a new tea shop. As Vanessa wanders the romantic Parisian streets, she meets a man that presents her with her first opportunity to fall in love. While Vanessa falls deeper for her new beau, she finds herself entangled in her aunt’s romantic past and begins to meddle in the hopes of repairing what her aunt believes is irreparable.

“Vanessa Yu’s Magical Tea Shop” is a fantastical read that allows readers to fall into the story with not only their mind but with their taste buds as well. A warning — this book will leave readers with a strong desire to venture through Paris and sample treats at a patisserie.

From the book jacket…

Vanessa Yu never wanted to see people’s fortunes—or misfortunes—in tea leaves.

Ever since she can remember, Vanessa has been able to see people’s fortunes at the bottom of their teacups. To avoid blurting out their fortunes, she converts to coffee, but somehow fortunes escape and find a way to complicate her life and the ones of those around her. To add to this plight, her romance life is so nonexistent that her parents enlist the services of a matchmaking expert from Shanghai.

After her matchmaking appointment, Vanessa sees death for the first time. She decides that she can’t truly live until she can find a way to get rid of her uncanny abilities. When her eccentric Aunt Evelyn shows up with a tempting offer to whisk her away, Vanessa says au revoir to California and bonjour to Paris. There, Vanessa learns more about herself and the root of her gifts and realizes one thing to be true: knowing one’s destiny isn’t a curse, but being unable to change it is.

If you enjoy…

Readers who find themselves captivated by Lim’s command of flavor and prose might also enjoy her novel, “Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune,” which tells the story of a young woman whose mother died while they were estranged. Readers looking to enjoy more literary flavors will savor Stephanie Danler’s tale about a waitress learning the ropes in an elite restaurant in “Sweetbitter.”