Abandoned at a Buddhist temple as a child and raised first by a nun, then by her beloved Maman, when Mãn is of age she marries a Vietnamese restaurateur living in Montreal. Discovering that she is a natural chef, Mãn creates dishes that are suffused with memory and emotion, that evoke place and time and that even bring her customers to tears.
Mãn is a mystery – while her name means ‘perfect fulfilment’, she lives to serve others. She is the still centre of a growing community, a motley collection of expatriate Vietnamese and natives of her adopted city. But when circumstances propel her outside of her circle, an insistent and forbidden love takes hold of her and transforms her forever.