(51 - 1022.) Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan - I am late to CRK. (The characters are fond of initials.) I wish I had started reading the series sooner. I was captured by the end of the first chapter with the purchase of the posh London hotel by the husband of the Singapore Chinese wife who had been rudely excluded from the hotel by a supercilious manager.
The incredibly wealthy Chinese families are fascinating. Their fixation on the material with pretences, sometimes real, to being philosophical or spiritual was so vivid.
I was reminded of the Ava Lee series by Ian Hamilton where Ava is constantly dealing with very rich Chinese families around the world.
In Crazy Rich Asians for about half of the families excess is a foreign concept. They are buyers not shoppers and the presentation of new acquisitions is a ritual. The remaining half of the families eschew, even disdain, flamboyant displays of wealth and take pride, sometimes excessively, in modesty.
The lovely All American Chinese academic, Rachel Chu, could hardly be more different from the Singapore family of her love, Nicky Young. Focused on her career Chu has no fixation on the material.
Nicky has never let her know his Singapore family is fabulously wealthy before taking her home for the wedding of his best friend, Colin Khoo.
I raced through the pages eager to read of her introduction to his immediate family, the extended relatives and his childhood friends. All the Singaporeans are anxious to see who has won the heart of a very eligible man.
Nicky’s mother, aunts, great aunts, grandmother and the mothers of his friends are a colourful group of women. As they engage in intrigues Rachel is a puzzle to them for she lacks guile and is indifferent to their great wealth.
Many of the women are cruel in their comments and their actions as they scheme to advance their families and themselves. I hope real life Singapore families are less vicious. I appear to be naive in thinking there are no longer marriages for dynastic purposes.
The men of the families are far less intersting as their lives swirl around making money.
The wedding of Colin and Araminta Lee is an amazing production. It is hard to fathom the millions spent to create an unforgettable wedding event.
Can all the scheming women break up true love?
The twists and turns in relationships never ended with money and more money and yet more money deeply affecting them.
I watched every episode of Downton Abbey. I have found an Asian saga worthy of being compared to that grand English series. There are mysteries to be read but I have gone to the library and gotten the second in the trilogy. I really want to watch the movie.