I was completely surprised by how much I liked the first book in this (now finished) trilogy and both sequels have been equally fun. While it’s not high literature (nor does it claim to be) Kwan’s writing is really good, the (many) storylines surprising and intriguing, and his characters are oddly realistic, though clearly exaggerated. Lots of brand references which frankly go right over my head, but mostly I just keep turning the pages while laughing out loud at the soap opera satire.
In this third installment, Su-Yi, the grand dame of the extraordinarily wealthy Shang-Young clan, dies at the ripe old age of 94. The story covers the in-fighting of the family post-funeral, the honest emotions of the many who actually loved her, fascinating stories of Su Yi’s time during WWII in Singapore, and plenty of other integrated dramas. Unlike typical soap operas, I never find the stories stupid or ridiculous – a real testament to Kwan’s writing prowess.
You can read this one without the others but why would you do that? Go start at the beginning! (By the way, the Crazy Rich Asians movie is in post-production – looks well cast (release date still TBD sadly).