Rich People Problems: Review
Note: I received an Advanced Reader's Copy from the publisher for review.
Kevin Kwan's third book in the Crazy Rich Asians series, Rich People Problems, is scheduled for a May 23rd release, but I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy from Random House (yay)! It only took me about a week to work my way up to reading this third installment, and I'm so glad that I went on this adventure with the illustrious Shang-Young clan. If you enjoyed either of Kwan's first two books, then you will certainly not be disappointed by this third!
When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside--but he's not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls. With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park--a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore--the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises. As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife--a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid's reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a schoolyard kidnapping to a gold-leaf dancefloor spattered with blood, Kevin Kwan's gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets and rich people problems of Asia's most privileged families.
Kwan's third book does a great job of expounding on the whirlwind world of Crazy Rich Asians. He introduces several themes that, while you may have noticed in his earlier books, he didn't focus on. Such themes include the stigma of mental illness and depression, the immaterial aspects of a legacy and what that's worth, exploring forms of domestic and emotional abuse, and the conflict between Eastern and Western religions and traditions.
We also get a deeper look into Singaporean history and politics via the mysterious Su Yi. She's been one of my favorite characters throughout the entire series, and it's so bittersweet to finally get a peek into her past. Kwan paints the matriarch of the clan in different scenes- as the diplomatic hostess, loving wife, strict mother. But we never get a full picture of Su Yi, and it's fitting that this last book, which is pretty much dedicated to her, gives us a sense of closure.
Is that to spoilery to say, that it gave me a sense of closure?! By the end of Rich People Problems, I was actually pretty conflicted on whether I wanted this story to continue or not. Without giving too much away, I just wasn't sure whether Kwan intended to write a fourth installment to the Crazy Rich Asians series or not. You just can't tell. I think for the first two books, there were definitely some loose ends that needed to be tied up. But this book isn't quite as clear cut! I'm sure this series could go on and on, with more drama at every turn, and more money to spend- but does it need to?
I rate Rich People Problems4/5 stars!