Monday, June 18, 2012

Southern Fried Sushi

Author: Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Publisher: Barbour Books
October 2011
ISBN: 978-1616263645
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary romance

Shiloh Jacobs is twenty-four and on the adventure of a lifetime. She is working at a coveted position at the Associated Press in Toyko and engaged to Carlos, a wealthy Hispanic man who is the best salesman in his field. She has everything under control, except possibly her spending, as evidenced by maxed out credit cards and mounting bills.

When Shiloh learns of her mother’s untimely passing, she travels to rural Virginia to sell her mother’s house, and take care of the situation there. But compared to the big city of Toyko, rural Virginia is a culture shock. Pick-up trucks and deer hunters abound, as well as quirky neighbors and a much slower pace.

But things go from bad to worse. Shiloh loses her job, her fiancĂ©e and worse, the house won’t sell. Plus her debts continue to pile up. Will Shiloh ever get back to her beloved Japan? Or will she have to settle in Virginia?

SOUTHERN FRIED SUSHI is not exactly what I expected. It starts very slowly, in Japan, with Shiloh handling her unopened credit card bills, then leaving the AP to meet with a friend for lunch. The setting, the crush of people, the sights and smells in Toyko are described to the point where I could see them, but the story started very very slowly and I couldn’t even begin to care for Shiloh. In fact, I hate her too suave fiancĂ© when I met him and couldn’t believe Shiloh would actually put up with his nonsense. But then, most young girls make a lot of mistakes concerning men.

When Shiloh is sent back to Virginia the story really picks up. She had a rude awakening to the differences in cultures, and the differences in food—fried vegetables and meats, collard greens and mushy bread. But the people made it more fun. I loved the way she was forced to change her view of the world and grow up some. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $12.99. 379 pages.

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