NATALIE TAN’S BOOK OF LUCK AND FORTUNE
1.How did the relationship dynamics between Qiao and Miranda differ from those between Miranda and Natalie? Is there a repeating pattern, and if so, what is it?
2.Cultural expectations drove Qiao and Miranda apart. What did Qiao expect from her daughter and, consequently, what did Miranda expect from Natalie?
3.The imagery of birds appears throughout the book. When do they occur and what do you believe is the meaning behind each occurrence?
4.Miranda’s agoraphobia debilitated her greatly, from not being able to travel with her husband to not being able to help her daughter after she fell outside. How might her life have turned out differently if she had been able to get help early on?
5.Was Natalie selfish for leaving her mother and traveling all over the world, or is she justified in pursuing her dream?
6.What do you think is the effect of the magical realism incorporated throughout the book?
7.Daniel evokes a strong emotional and physical reaction from Natalie from the very beginning. What makes him different from the previous men in her life? Do his family dynamics affect their relationship in any way?
8.Natalie is used to running away from her problems. At what point does she realize she can’t run away from her troubles at home? What external and internal factors is she running from?
9.Food is a huge element of the book, connecting the residents of the Chinatown neighborhood. How does food impact your own life and the way you interact with others?
10.Natalie’s father is absent throughout most of Natalie’s life, yet clearly he has a large presence in it. How do you think his absence has affected Natalie and the decisions she has made?
11.Were you surprised at the identity of Natalie’s father? In retrospect, in what ways did he act like a father to her?
12.After her mother’s death, Natalie stays at her home with the intention of reviving the neighborhood, but in turn, its residents end up guiding and encouraging her. What are the small and big ways that they help Natalie?