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Where does Soy Sauce for Beginners rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Kristin Chen's story is an enjoyable coming-of-age or finding-my-true-self kind of book. It's not earth shattering, but the right amount of personal input from the author to make you believe and care about Gretchen and her family. Chen creates a Gretchen as protagonist in which readers can find a connection. Sometimes that connection was a little too close to home and I wanted reach into the story to whisper to Gretchen: "How can you say/do that! Don't you see..." The supporting cast reinforces the relief between the two worlds (California and Singapore) Gretchen navigates. The ending maybe a little predictable, but I think that is the point of the story: Gretchen finds her way into a choice that makes sense for her and the person she has, and wishes, to become. May we all find that.
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
It was easy to listen to Nancy Wu's narration. This book uses different English voices (Californian American, 'good' Singaporean English, Australian English) as well as Singlish, and Chinese. I can't say how authentic Wu's interpretation of each are, but she did a good job of making them palatable to my American ear. I wish Wu had done a little research for the lyrics excerpted. I get it that a narrator may not be able to sing lyrics, but she could have gotten the phrasing and syllable emphasis correct and mimic a little of the tonal qualities of the songs. It was very distracting that she read them in monotone and with completely different phrasing. All in all I would listen to another narration by Nancy Wu, as long as there were no lyrics or poems.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Great story! I would also give the narrator an A+!!! She had the Singapore dialect down perfectly when quoting other characters.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful