Melody
ISBN-13: 9789868635425
Publisher: Motif Press Co., Ltd
Published: August 2010
285 pgs
Source: Personal Library



当爱重返身边, 才发现,
你, 一直都在。


好久, 好久没好好地坐下来享受读着张小娴的书了。每一回读她的书籍, 都会被她细腻的文笔深深感动着。 那种感觉, 久久都会停留在我的脑海里, 挥之不去。她的文笔, 象施了魔法般把我带进她的故事世界里, 让我觉得故事里的人、事、物仿佛都在我的身边。我想,这就是张小娴的魅力吧。她的故事总能触动着我的心。

在〈我的爱如此麻辣〉中,她以一贯细腻、流畅的文笔,再一次把读者带进她的爱情世界里。故事中的女主角叫夏如星;她的生活本来过得无忧无虑,但自从父亲得了血管瘤离开人世后,她的人生开始起了变化,从此也改变了她对所有人世间的看法。因为父亲是开麻辣火鍋店的,本来对烹饪一窍不通的她,为了保留父亲所留下的麻辣火鍋店,决定下定决心要把麻辣火鍋店的生意做好,而另一个原因就是麻辣火鍋曾给父亲留下美好的儿时回忆。为了这些,她不想辜负他。

为了找寻麻辣火鍋的秘方,夏如星竟无意中发现爸爸藏了大半輩子的秘密。原来除了她,夏如星发现父亲在另外兩個相隔萬里另有两个女兒!这个突如其来的发现简直是晴天霹雳,令夏如星不知所措。但夏如日和夏如月毕竟是她的姐姐,夏如星没有理由不把父亲的死讯告诉她们。就因这事故把夏家三姐妹相聚在一起;她们的共同点就是经营父亲的麻辣火鍋店,使它起死回生 (父亲在世时,生意本来一落千丈,负债累累)。

除了夏家三姐妹的故事,〈我的爱如此麻辣〉其实是记载了夏如星和青梅竹马李浩山信件交换的种种心情。夏如星透过这些信件,与浩山分享着她生活上的所有点滴,包括她和姐姐们如何相遇和在一起的心得。虽然隔著萬水千山(浩山在马拉威当义工,夏如星则在香港),但浩山的信总为她带来温柔的慰藉,更让她领悟到人生其实可以很简单,只看个人如何对待各自的生活与目标。浩山曾对夏如星说,人与人的相识相遇,都是因缘聚合,而缘分是永不流逝的餐宴。他的这番话不止深深地烙印在夏如星的心里,更深深地感动了我。没错,如果我与你没有因缘,我们如何在这茫茫人海中相遇又相知呢?

It's been a while since I have read a Chinese novel; and even if I do read them I don't do a review on them because my main focus is on English novels. However I have to make an exception here simply because I loved this book so much! (Correction: I love all Amy Cheung's books because her writing is beautiful and poetic; and her stories always touches my heart.) For this English review, I will take a different approach from the Chinese in including the spoilers.

Through letter writing style, My So-Called Spicy Love (roughly translated) tells a story of a gal named Xia Ru Xing and her life after the death of her father. Her mother had died many years ago due to breast cancer and though her life with her father was simple and filled with hardship, but at least she is happy. After her father's passing, she is left with nothing but her father's spicy hotpot eatery. Not wanting to disappoint him and knowing that her father had a deep passion for his business, she decides to take over the business but first she has to find out the secret recipe for her father's famous spicy hotpot.

It is also during this time that she found out that her father actually had married two other women from overseas and had two daughters with them. Ru Xing decides to tell her two elder sisters about their father's death, after all the man whom they loved would no longer return. The two sisters met up at Ru Xing's place in Hong Kong since they lived in different countries (Taiwan and Szechuan in China), and they decide to work together for the eatery business.

Ru Xing has a childhood friend named Li Hao Shan. He is working as a volunteer at an orphanage in Malawi, Africa for about two years. Ru Xing and Hao Shan will write letters to each other to share about their life. Ru Xing always find comfort in his letters because he never fails to make her smile, even though the distance has brought them apart. Hao Shan also shares with her about his experience looking after the AIDS orphans, and Ru Xing finds herself she has a lot of things to learn from him, after all his experience in Malawi has helped him see things in a new light. Through him, Ru Xing also learns about fate and other things that made her think. However, the joy is a short-lived one as Ru Xing soon finds herself diagnosed with breast cancer. Will her last letter reach Hao Shan? And does Hao Shan has the chance to see her for the last time? Amy Cheung has left an open ending with these questions for the readers to find out for themselves.

If you ask me how I think of the ending, I'd say it would most likely be a sad ending. I got this verdict after reading most of Amy Cheung's previous work and having recognising her signatures to their endings. However, I hope this is not the case in this book because it'd be too sad to see this lovely couple being torn apart by distance and illness.
7 Responses
  1. Julia Says:

    WOW everything you said in this review really made me want to go read it. But sadly, it's written in Chinese which I don't read. But I wish it was written in english, so that I can go get a copy and read it :)


  2. violetcrush Says:

    sounds like an amazing book. I feel sad because the numerous books we all miss out on just because of the language.

    Sometimes, in a bookstore, I just browse through the Chinese section and look at the covers and guess what the book could be about. It's fun.


  3. Veens Says:

    Someone has to translate this to English, it sounds so good.

    At first when i saw this post in Google reader, i thought it was spam! then when i came here I understood :D


  4. Trish Says:

    It definitely isn't available in English? It sounds like an amazing book and I love the title--My So-Called Spicy Love. I feel lucky that so much is available in English, but this reminds me of how much ISN'T. Can I ask an off topic question--do you speak English around your family? Just curious.


  5. Melody Says:

    Hi everyone! Thanks for your comments! I'm glad to see this book has got you intrigued! I definitely wish Amy's books will be published in English in the near future!

    Trish - Hmm, I don't think so. At least not that I know of.

    I speak both English and Mandarin at home (though I speak Mandarin and dialects with my dad & my in-laws since they don't understand English).


  6. Ladytink_534 Says:

    Has this ever been translated to any other language? Or is it not old enough?


  7. naida Says:

    wow Mel, great post! It sounds like a great read.

    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/