Review of BUDDHA BABY by Kim Wong Keltner
Avon Trade, September 2005
Chinese-American twenty-something Lindsey Owyang has the best boyfriend in the world. He would do anything for her--absolutely anything. So when he proposes, it seems like a no-brainer. Of course she'll marry him. But then he goes away on a weeks-long assignment, and without his anchoring presence, Lindsey lets her doubts get the better of her. Is she doing the right thing, marrying someone who is only a quarter Chinese and doesn't look Asian at all? Why has she never dated another Chinese? And why is her family so weirdly secret about their history? She doesn't even know her grandparents' real names.
When a nerdy grade-school crush shows up in her life, all grown up and deliciously handsome--and Asian--Lindsey must face her fears and temptations head on. As she thwarts Justin Lee's flirtations, she can't help but wonder if she is ready for marriage. But perhaps solving the mystery of her cranky grandmother's past will help her to understand herself and finally make peace with her two worlds--one steeped in Chinese tradition, one reeking of modern American culture.
Although plotwise this sequel to The Dim Sum of All Things meanders all over the place and was at times slow, it's still an engrossing read. The descriptions of San Francisco, and particularly Chinatown, are so vivid the reader feels like she's been there on vacation. And Lindsey, with her quirkiness and her foibles, is a most lovable heroine, one it's easy to root for. Anyone who loved the previous book will love this one as well.
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