My dad once said to me, "You give a lot of books three stars." I do.
I enjoyed this book, just not as much as the other two in the series.
Grace Lin has a gift for descriptive writing (eg describing eating spicy food as feeling as if the character had "sneezed the sun").
There were a few things in the book that I found strange though.* Mainly the fact that Pacy mishears her cousins names and then continues to call them by the misheard names rather than their actual names throughout the book.
There's also a bit about a Japanese toilet and a Japanese camera that feels slightly weird to me though I can't quite say exactly why.
The rest of the story is really interesting: the culture shock, the diaspora feelings, the descriptions of Taiwan, and the food. Reading this book made me so hungry.** I hope this isn't the last Pacy Lin book, but if it is, it offers a pretty satisfying conclusion to Pacy's story.
*Also how had Pacy never had dim sum before her visit to Taiwan? How?
**If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be dumplings... as long as burritos count as dumplings.
ETA: Lin title drops a book by Rumer Godden. I got about two pages into one of Godden's books (Fu Dog... not the one mentioned in Dumpling Days) before I had to quit (she described one of the characters as having slant eyes and yellow skin... I don't have direct quotes, but it was pretty racist because I quit reading IMMEDIATELY). Not sure if this is a chronic problem with Godden or one of those things that you chalk up to the fact that everyone was more openly racist in the past. But just a warning in case anyone finds out that's a real book and wants to check it out. Be on guard while reading it.