The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling

Wai Chim

fiction contemporary young adult
emotional fast-paced

392 pages | first published 2019

Anna Chiu has her hands pretty full looking after her brother and sister and helping out at her dad’s restaurant, all while her mum stays in bed. Dad’s new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren’t right at home, she’s starting to feel like she could just be a normal teen.

But when Mum finally gets out of bed, things go from bad to worse. And as Mum’s condition worsens, Anna and her family question everything they understand about themselves and each other.

A nourishing tale about the crevices of culture, mental wellness and family, and the surprising power of a good dumpling.

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summary of 96 ratings (see reviews)

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emotional 85%
hopeful 50%
reflective 35%
challenging 28%
sad 28%
informative 14%
lighthearted 14%
dark 7%
funny 7%
inspiring 7%


medium 84%
fast 15%

Strong character development?

Yes: 80% | It's complicated: 10% | No: 10%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 66% | It's complicated: 22% | No: 11%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 90% | It's complicated: 9%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 54% | It's complicated: 27% | N/A: 9% | No: 9%

Average rating