I finished reading Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan yesterday and I found his first book to be hilarious and entertaining. It is an easy read, the type of book you’ll keep reading until the end. There were a number of gripping chapters as the story kept unfolding more gossip, drama, twists and turns. He depicted a lifestyle of wealthy Asians not many people were aware of. This included secrecy and the need of locking in the wealth within the family, only allowing people with great fortune to enter the barriers of the clan. There was evident clash of traditional and liberal culture, defining the line between the rich and everyone else.
The story unveiled super rich Asian characters, tackling different stereotypes and perspectives about money. Here we have a couple in New York who had been in a relationship for two years – Nicholas Young and Rachel Chu. Both were teachers in NY whereby Nick was apparently very wealthy while the girl had no clue. There was a level of innocence, or naivete, in this relationship where Nick did not even realize the need to prepare Rachel as they were going to visit his family in Singapore and attend his best friend’s wedding. Meanwhile, Rachel is nowhere near being a gold digger but accused of being one by jealous girls eyeing his boy friend. To add to that, Rachel apparently had a deeper family background that provided a twist in the end.
There is another set of characters depicted in the story made up of a married couple in Singapore who had been quite disconnected over the years – Michael and Astrid. Astrid was the extremely wealthy one while Michael was quite poor or average relative to them. This couple lived together in a home that Michael established, making it clear to the Astrid’s father that he will live off his own earnings. Meanwhile, Astrid had her own wealth, traveling numerous times in a year to Europe buying lavish jewelry and couture. Michael could no longer take his relationship with his wife and the rest of the family so he tried to break off the relationship by making up a story to save Astrid’s family from disgrace of a divorce. It was funny how this ended with a sudden twist that was just too extraordinary but entertaining.
There were other characters tackled such as the classic gold digger girl friend, the paranoid mom, the mom and daughter tandem who took advantage of husband’s wealth when he got sick, and the indifferent husband who did not delve in to the sick swirl of the family, just to name a few.
If you want to have a fun time, read this book! It was quite refreshing after all the heavy educational material I have been dealing with recently.
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