Monday, July 29, 2013

Crazy Rich Asians

I had an obsession with soap operas during my junior high and high school years. Now, never watch them.  But....when I come across a book that reads a bit like a soap opera, I am in heaven.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is a fun, soap opera-esque read about - just as the title says- crazy, rich Asians.  These characters aren't just rich, they truly are crazy rich.  I loved the name dropping and excess of their lavish lifestyles which were completely and totally over the top.

This novel traces the happenings of a few families- the Youngs, the Shangs, and the T'Siens.  Luckily Kwan has included a family tree at the beginning of the novel that I did refer to from time to time.

There are lots of characters, but a few main story lines that Crazy Rich Asians centers around.  Rachel Chu, not of any rich Asian family, lives in New York with her boyfriend, Nick Young. Both are professors and Rachel is unaware of Nick's family or the fact that he is wealthy.  When Nick invites her to come home with him to Singapore for his best friend's wedding, Rachel is thrust into a lifestyle she is unaccustomed to. Private plans, couture dresses, and opulence beyond Rachel's imagination are de rigeur for Nick's family.  However, Nick's mother sees Rachel as a gold digger since she is not from any family money.  At once she begins to hatch a plan to ensure that Nick and Rachel won't end up together.

Nick's cousin Astrid is happily married, or so she thinks.  Her husband Michael is a hard worker, although he comes from a common family, not a wealthy one like hers.  Suddenly a discovery on Michael's cell phone sends Astrid's life into a tailspin.

Moving from character to character, and various locations this was an absolute pleasure to read.  This is a perfect beach read and one of the most fun reads I've had all year.

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