Book Reviews

Review: Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman & Caroline Tung Richmond

I don’t have enough words in my soul to convey how much I loved Hungry Hearts. I’ve read more and more anthologies that I just adore and Hungry Hearts sky rocketed into the top of the list.


From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens.

A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.

Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.

Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Hungry Hearts is an ode to love, family, friendship, community, and identity. It’s exquisitely told stories, woven together in a tapestry of human connection. Stories about grief, about food which feeds our heart, soothes our wounds, and opens up doors. It’s about the magical ingredients that bring back a flavor of home, a memory of time lost, and salty regrets. Food is so intimate to us. It’s what we nourish our bodies with, what reveals our personality, and the lifeblood of our culture.

It sew tapestries of stories where foods are used as weapons and gifts. It opens chests of emotions and whispering glorious tendrils of smoke which wrap you up in delicious smells and enchanting words. We recognize the tendrils of authors we love, characters we’ve come to recognize like old friends on the weekends. It’s an anthology with a common location that ties all the stories together.

It’s a stunning picture of when food can create a bond – a moment shared between awe and satisfaction. A shared experience that will forever leave an unforgettable taste in your mouth.


Hungry Hearts is an homage to food that can inspire us to be brave. The ways we are bulled because of our food, tormented by those who think that difference is to be feared. It’s also a beautiful portrayal of the pursuit of food that will change your life – take you on adventures into new places with a thirst for exploration. Into traditions and families where cooking is legacy, the only way we know how to show we care, when smoke soothes sore throats, smooths sweat from brows, and supports our acts of bravery.

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6 thoughts on “Review: Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman & Caroline Tung Richmond

  1. This book sounds amazing, Lili! I’m especially excited for it since I saw Rin Chupeco has a story in it as well! I haven’t read it yet but which was your favourite short story in the anthology?

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