Paperback: 336 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Viking January 12th 2016
Source: Lovereading Review Panel Member
First Sentence: The new Expatriates arrive practically on the hour, every day of the week.
Review Quote: “One of the novel’s strength is Lee’s exploration of the sometimes subtle interplay between different layers and types of privilege; another is her empathy for the loneliness that her characters must endure.” — The Financial Times (UK)
Main Characters: Margaret, Hilary and Mercy
Setting: Hong Kong
My Opinion: I really enjoyed this, as I did the authors previous novel The Piano Teacher probably more so as Hong Kong holds a very special place in my heart. I actually read this in December 2015, just in advance of publication courtesy of Lovereading, so it has taken me a ridiculously long time to get this review published. Having just returned from a trip to visit my daughter, herself an expat in Hong Kong, I was spurred into action!
I found this to be a touching and fascinating read as the lives of the three protagonists unfold as they learn to survive in a very different world from the ones they left behind in America.
Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:
Mercy, a young Korean American and recent Columbia graduate, is adrift, undone by a terrible incident in her recent past. Hilary, a wealthy housewife, is haunted by her struggle to have a child, something she believes could save her foundering marriage. Meanwhile, Margaret, once a happily married mother of three, questions her maternal identity in the wake of a shattering loss. As each woman struggles with her own demons, their lives collide in ways that have irreversible consequences for them all.
Janice Y. K. Lee was born in Hong Kong, to Korean immigrants and lived there until she was fifteen. She went to the United States for school and graduated from Harvard College with a degree in English and American Literature and Language.
After college she moved to New York and worked for several years as an editor at Elle and Mirabella magazines before getting an MFA from Hunter College and starting her first novel. The Piano Teacher was published to critical acclaim from the New York Times, People, and O magazine, among others. It spent 19 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, was a Richard and Judy Summer Read pick (UK), and was translated into 26 languages worldwide.
Janice’s writing has appeared in ELLE, Mirabella, Glamour, and Travel and Leisure, as well as numerous other publications.
She lived in New York City with her husband and four children but has since returned to live in Hong Kong since writing her first novel.
Photographs and biographical information courtesy of the following sites.
Author Official Website Lovereading - Author Profile Goodreads - Author Profile
Janice Y.K Lee - Twitter