Hello, everybody!! Welcome to my stop for the Hungry Hearts Food Crawl organised by the very amazing CW @ The Quiet Pond and Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads ! I’m so excited to be a part of this blog tour where #OwnVoices reviewers review a story that represents them. I’ve never been a part of something like this before so I’m really excited!! 😀
From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens.
A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.
Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.
Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.
*ARC provided as a part of the blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*
Rain by Sangu Mandanna is the story of Anna, and how she copes with her mother’s death. It’s been a few months since her mother died, and Anna and her father are lost after it. Everything has changed for them and they don’t know how to cope. While all this is going on, Anna’s aunt, her mother’s sister invites them over for a stay. While living there, in her aunt’s Hungry Heart Row neighbourhood, she finds a way to feel closer to her mother and she & her father try to make things better.
It is, at the core of it, a story about hope and moving on. It tells us how life doesn’t stop for anything or anyone. There’s grief and pain and suffering, but there is also love and hope and happiness, and we need to find that positivity for ourselves no matter what situation we are in.
Mandanna uses food as a tool to help Anna get over her grief, and it is very honestly and realistically portrayed on page. For desi people, food is a way of life. It is a source of joy and happiness. We take it very seriously. Every little thing is important. Every little detail that someone may overlook, every minute ingredient that goes into making the food what it is. I think that was shown very, very, very beautifully in the story, and the way Anna made batches and batches of the one dish she wanted to, before getting it just right, was exactly what she needed. Cooking also brought her closer to her father, and they spoke about so many things they hadn’t before, which I absolutely love.
Food plays such an important part in this story. It brings Anna and her father closer, it brings Anna some peace of mind, and it keeps her busy, brings her joy, gives her a purpose. I loved how the importance of food was shown in these little ways. It was so subtle, yet so well done and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The story itself was so heart touching and warm. When we started Anna was a morose teenager who hadn’t grieved her mom properly, but by the end of the story, she was someone who was looking forward to what the future had in store for her. Her transition from being so troubled about her mother’s death to finding some sort of semblance and peace in a world without her mother is done beautifully.
All characters play such an important role in bringing Anna peace and it shows. Her interactions with her dad, Luke, her aunt, Mynah, and her some what friend, Lily, are all pivotal in bringing her out of her shell, in helping her make sense of her life, and find a way to feel closer to her mother. It all progresses very organically and fluidly. All the little bits are so very well done.
I’m really glad that I got the opportunity to read this story because it’s so very beautiful and poignant and so very well written! I enjoyed it so very much! Thank you, CW & Vicky for this. 😀
Elsie Chapman grew up in Prince George, Canada, and has a degree in English literature from the University of British Columbia. She is the author of the YA novels Dualed, Divided, Along the Indigo, and Caster as well as the MG novel All the Ways Home, and co-editor of A Thousand Beginnings and Endings and Hungry Hearts. She currently lives in Tokyo, Japan, with her family.
Photo Credit: Michael Meskin
Caroline Tung Richmond is an award-winning young adult author, whose historical novels include The Only Thing to Fear, The Darkest Hour, and Live In Infamy. She’s also the co-editor of the anthology Hungry Hearts, which features stories about food and will come out in June 2019 from Simon Pulse. Her work is represented by Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich.
Caroline is also the Program Director of We Need Diverse Books, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that advocates for diversity in children’s publishing.
After growing up in the Washington, D.C. area Caroline now lives in Virginia with her family.
Sangu Mandanna was four years old when an elephant chased her down a forest road and she decided to write her first story about it. Seventeen years and many, many manuscripts later, she signed her first book deal. Sangu now lives in Norwich, a city in the east of England, with her husband and kids.
June 10th – Introduction
Vicky (Welcome + Interview)
June 11th – Karuna Riazi
June 12th – Rin Chupeco
June 13th – Jay Coles
Nikki (Review + Creative Post)
June 14th – Elsie Chapman
June 15th – Sara Farizan
June 16th – Caroline T. Richmond
June 17th – Adi Alsaid
Moon (Review + Creative Post)
June 18th – Sandhya Menon
June 19th – S. K. Ali
Mish (Review + Creative Post)
June 20th – Phoebe North
Kayla (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board)
June 21st – Rebecca Roanhorse
June 22nd – Sangu Mandanna
June 23rd – Anna-Marie McLemore
Nox (Review + Creative Post)
June 24th – Closing
CW (Review + Food Crawl)
2 Finished Copies of Hungry Hearts! (1 US & 1 Int’l)
Have you read Hungry Hearts? Which of them was your favourite story? If you haven’t, whose story are you most excited for?