Title – Crazy Rich Asians
Author – Kevin Kwan
Rachel Chu has a boyfriend she has been dating for the last two years. He is Chinese with a British accent, well educated, charming and totally unassuming. But her boyfriend, Nick Young, has a secret he hasn’t really told her about. A secret that will tear her world apart. Nick Young comes from a family of crazy, rich Asians.
Nick is heading back to Singapore to be best man at his childhood friend Colin’s wedding. He takes Rachel along to meet the family. But Nick doesn’t understand the true nature of his family. He has always been sheltered by the snobbery and bigotry that his mother and grandmother have. Worse, he has no idea how brutal the women in his family will treat an outsider. Once they feel could never be worthy of them.
A bloody cut open fish in her hotel room. Rumors of Nick’s escapades whispered in her ear from cousins. Gold digging cunt written in blood in her room. All this and worse await Rachel. Even her family and their history is not out of bounds as the women in Nick’s life decide to destroy this American Born Chinese girl.
Crazy Rich Asians is a sad, funny, tragic, uplifting and demoralizing novel of family and bloodlines. How far some will go to protect them and how far they are willing to go to maintain the class status they believe they are entitled to. It is cruel and yet at times very funny. The actions and attitudes are those expressed around any table by moms. aunts, sisters and cousins when a favored son is in love with a girl they don’t approve of. Only here it is done with an unlimited supply of money behind it.
This is high drama with a more than a little reality show thrown into it. A mix between the old Dallas soap opera and Wives of Beverly Hills or some nonsense.
But the writing and prose Kwan uses raises it above that level. This is a throwback to the old Irwin Shaw novel, Rich Man, Poor Man. The large scale operatic novel of families and dynasty but with a little more humor tossed in to temper the cruelty.
A well paced and enjoyable read.