The Camy Tang File:
Reviewed by Sheryl Root
Sushi for One? by Camy Tang
"[Tang] is a master at writing wonderful, engaging characters---each with flaws and weaknesses that make them believable and endearing."
Camy Tang, in her first published novel Sushi for One?, has created a book I found both hard to put down and sad to see end. I didn’t want to leave the friends I had made in its pages behind. Happily, it’s the first title in The Sushi Series so I have at least two more books to look forward to. Only Uni, the second in the series, will be released in February 2008.
The Sushi Series tells the stories of four Asian-American cousins as each, in turn, deals with the title of being OSFC (Oldest Single Female Cousin). The OSFC finds herself the target of Grandma Sakai’s single-minded mission to ensure all of her granddaughters are married—and Grandma is a powerful force to reckon with.
In Sushi for One?, Lex Sakai becomes the new OSFC now that her cousin Mariko is getting married. Unless Lex produces a “real” boyfriend in time for Mariko’s wedding, just four months away, Grandma threatens to remove her financial support from the girls’ volleyball team Lex coaches. It’s not that Lex doesn’t want a boyfriend; she even has a long list of ideal qualities written up from her Bible study class on Ephesians. But all of Grandma’s candidates barely speak English, and they certainly don’t share Lex’s Christian faith. However, neither does Aiden Young, her brother’s friend, who Lex seems to run into everywhere she goes. As Lex does everything in her power to figure out ways around Grandma’s schemes, she finds herself running into obstacle after obstacle. The harder Lex tries, the worse things seem to get. Can Lex learn to let go and trust God to work out His best plan for her life?
True humor usually comes by taking the pain and disappointments of life and finding the universal themes that resonate with each of us. Camy does this expertly in Sushi for One? She is a master at writing wonderful, engaging characters—each with flaws and weaknesses that make them believable and endearing. Her descriptions of Lex’s interactions with her family are both hilarious and heart touching. Many readers, no matter what their ethnic background, will recognize their own family in Lex’s. Sushi for One? is one of the rare fiction books that I will keep on my bookshelf long after reviewing to enjoy over and over again.
I can’t remember how I first came upon Camy Tang’s blog. I do know that I loved her “loud Asian chick” humor, humility, and encouragement from the first time I visited. She makes her blog readers feel like family; in fact, she even includes them in the acknowledgements to this book. Camy’s voice, whether on her blog or in her books, is both unique and universal. If you miss the joy of reading Sushi for One?, you’ll miss a truly delightful experience.
Sheryl Root is Partner Database Manager at OneHope, a non-profit organization whose mission is to reach every child with God’s Word. She’s also a writer and a reader of everything she can get her hands on … books, blogs, magazines. In other words, she’s both a data geek and a book nerd. She loves to be able to support Christian authors and spread the word on great books and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, a wonderful community of published and yet to be published writers. You can follow her on Twitter at @Sheryl_Root.