A Milky Way Home (Clover Hill Romance #6) by Hsinju Chen

On a backdrop of book pages, an iPad with the cover of A Milky Way Home by Hsinju Chen. At the top of the image, a strip of torn paper with a quote: "A mellow debut novella with a very endearing MC." and a URL: judeinthestars.com.

I’m not sure I’d have read this novella had the author not been a fellow reviewer, whose writing I enjoy and whose views I respect. The MC is transmasc and asexual and these are not identities I tend to look for in my reading. I’m very happy I got to meet Yen-Chen though, he’s so sweet, with his wide-eyed shyness and his gentle curiosity.

After years as a software engineer in Seattle, Yen-Chen Chang has quit his job and is looking forward to relocating to Taipei, closer to his family. But before leaving, he has agreed to take a few weeks of holidays in Clover Hill, where his friend Kaz owns a boba shop. Clover Hill is a dream of a small town, diverse and open-minded and so so queer. Piano teacher and composer Florence Hong-Lam Ho lives a quiet life with her dog Milk Puff, her a-kong (grandfather), and her friends. When she first meets Yen-Chen, she’s not overly impressed. For Milk Puff, however, it’s love at first sight. And it turns out the tiny fluffy dog is a good judge of characters.

Set in the Clover Hill universe created by Skye Kilaen, A Milky Way Home is Taiwanese author Hsinju Chen’s first novella (they also published a short story in Awakenings: A Cute Mutants Anthology). It can be read as a standalone (which is how I read it) but characters from other books in the series appear here and there. Since I haven’t read the other books, I may have missed stuff but I was too busy enjoying these people to really care anyway. I already stated how much I loved Yen-Chen. Florence was a bit harder to warm up to but she won me over in parallel to her falling for Yen-Chen. I think what I loved most about her was her melting over him. That, and her relationship with her grandfather.

I – and the people who know me won’t be surprised by this – also loved the importance of food in this story. Food as memories, food shared with loved ones, food prepared with that special someone or for that special someone (and her special dog). I often say that food is love and this book, while not being centred around it, is a perfect example of that. What made it even more interesting to me was the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever tasted any of the dishes or drinks mentioned and now I feel like I must make it my mission to try them. 4.5⭐️


Read A Milky Way Home:


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