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Nothing surprised me. I felt that all was in keeping with the characters and the way humans operate, although it did feel a bit rushed. I would have liked a longer story with more details of the following years. While the toxic/acidic fog was dealt with, the other aspects of climate change weren't addressed as well as they could have been. The future isn't as bright as it was painted, unfortunately.

I'm thankful that I'm 71 and won't be around for the worst of what's to come. Of course you can find pleasure without causing harm...slow down and really listen, look, feel. Practice kindness and you'll have all the gratitude and the pleasure that you can hold. The ending was great. So human.

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Even though it was foreshadowed a bit, I was surprised that the chef's life turned out so well. My pessimistic side was also surprised that the countries worked together to reverse their form of climate change.

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I just finished watching the recording of the interview and it was simply fantastic! I expected the ending would be something like what Zhang wrote since this book is in many ways a homage to Duras' The Lover.... as a frame story, the ending was a kind of fast-forward back to the start of the story. Also the narrator said that things had gotten better and that her generation--the mayfly generation-- was something younger people didn't like to really think about too much. It was a satisfying ending, especially recalling how much I love Duras. One of the things I have really appreciated about the Audacious discussion was this question about the line between pleasure and gluttony--and I do think the same can be said about beauty. Zhang was so brilliant in the interview the way she discussed the need for pleasure and joy in trying to love a good life. Thank you Roxane for this book club pick!!!!!

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The story's ending felt rushed and incomplete, and an extra 20-30 pages would have helped. I was surprised that the "cancel culture" didn't affect the chef in the story. Overall, the rushed ending spoiled the emotional investment the author made in describing the past and the struggle to translate it into the present for a better future.

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I was confused by the ending and was hoping someone here might be able to help with insight - it seemed like a lot of the book was about the insufferable choices of the wealthy to isolate themselves and then the chef ended up super wealthy and didn't engage in her own company, funding it but letting other people run it while she flew around the world eating to find some sort of cure for the insatiable. I wrestled with that. Did I miss something? I honestly was a bit fed up by the end with the main character so I might have!

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