Christ's Glory, Not Mine

by science fiction author Andrea J. Graham

Sushi for One, anyone?

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Sushi for One? (Zondervan, September 1, 2007) by CAMY TANG

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Camy Tang grew up in Hawaii, but now lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious poi-dog. A former biologist researcher, these days she is surgically attached to her computer, writing full-time. In her spare time, she is on staff with her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service.

Sushi for One? (Sushi Series, Book One is her first novel. Her second, Only Uni (Sushi Series, Book Two) is due out in February 2008.
ABOUT THE BOOK:

When her cousin Mariko gets married, Lex Sakai will become the OLDEST SINGLE COUSIN in the clan, a loathed position by all single female family members. Grandma demands, bribes, and threatens Lex to bring a boyfriend to her cousin’s wedding. Lex does not want to date … not since that terrible incident a few years back … but, Grandma doesn’t give her that choice.

MY REVIEW:

Hilarious and intriguing, Sushi for One is a pallet-pleaser even for those whose stomach curls up like Lex’s just at the thought of eating raw fish. Sushi treats us to a rare Christian look inside the culture of Americans with Asian ancestry (where a marriage between persons of Japanese and Chinese descent is considered a mixed marriage it turns out.)

The plot revolves around the narrator’s stand off with an overbearing Buddhist grandmother who’s got a habit of using blackmail and other forms of manipulation to pressure her grandchildren into rushing into marriage in order to extend her own legacy. Sushi also thoughtfully, yet subtly explores the terrible consequences this has for her grandchildren.

If Lex wrote me, I’d probably advise moving out of state if that was what it took to get out from under her grandmother’s domination. Girl needs to learn boundary setting real bad. Honoring your folks means obedience as a single person, sure–while living under their roof. If you’re over eighteen and living on your own, or married, it means speaking to them respectfully and taking care of them when they get old or genuinely ill. Unless God (not your culture) tells you otherwise, it never means tolerating abuse, not even the nonphysical variety Lex puts up with from her grandmother.

From Tang’s dealing with injuries and surgery to repair them, let me just say, either she did extensive research, has a gift for describing pain, or wrote from personal experience. Or maybe a combination.

My main bone to pick is the designated convert is also the designated love interest, and they are brought together with him only actually attending church and warming up to the idea of Jesus as Lord and Savior, not fully committed. And certainly not a strong enough Christian to make what I’d consider a healthy match. If she can’t marry someone she can’t respect athletically unless they’re at least as athletic as her because of submission, how much more important is it that your husband be someone you can look up to spiritually?

If you’re already married, you deal with it, but if the husband is going to be the spiritual head of the home, it’s a heck of a lot easier if he’s the strongest, most spiritually mature spouse, or at least on par with his wife.

Other than that, Sushi for One almost made me change my mind about sushi. Almost.


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