China Rich Girlfriend: A Novel by Kevin KwanChina Rich Girlfriend: A Novel by Kevin Kwan

China Rich Girlfriend: A Novel

byKevin KwanRead byLydia Look

Audio Book (CD) | June 16, 2015

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Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians, is back with a wickedly funny new novel of social climbing, secret e-mails, art-world scandal, lovesick billionaires, and the outrageous story of what happens when Rachel Chu, engaged to marry Asia's most eligible bachelor, discovers her birthfather.

     On the eve of her wedding to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, Rachel should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond from JAR, a wedding dress she loves more than anything found in the salons of Paris, and a fiancé willing to sacrifice his entire inheritance in order to marry her. But Rachel still mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won't be able to walk her down the aisle. Until: a shocking revelation draws Rachel into a world of Shanghai splendor beyond anything she has ever imagined. Here we meet Carlton, a Ferrari-crashing bad boy known for Prince Harry-like antics; Colette, a celebrity girlfriend chased by fevered paparazzi; and the man Rachel has spent her entire life waiting to meet: her father. Meanwhile, Singapore's It Girl, Astrid Leong, is shocked to discover that there is a downside to having a newly minted tech billionaire husband. A romp through Asia's most exclusive clubs, auction houses, and estates, China Rich Girlfriend brings us into the elite circles of Mainland China, introducing a captivating cast of characters, and offering an inside glimpse at what it's like to be gloriously, crazily, China-rich.
Kevin Kwan is the author of Crazy Rich Asians, the international bestseller now being adapted into a major motion picture.  Born and raised in Singapore, Kwan has called Manhattan home for the past two decades but still craves pineapple tarts and a decent plate of Hokkien mee. Please visit
Title:China Rich Girlfriend: A NovelFormat:Audio Book (CD)Dimensions:5.89 × 5.09 × 1.06 inPublished:June 16, 2015Publisher:Penguin Random House Audio Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553551906

ISBN - 13:9780553551907


Read from the Book

1The MandarinHong Kong, January 25, 2013In early 2012, a brother and sister clearing out their late mother’s attic in the London neighborhood of Hampstead discovered what appeared to be a cluster of old Chinese scrolls at the bottom of a steamer trunk. By chance, the sister had a friend who worked at Christie’s, so she dropped them off--in four Sainsbury’s grocery sacks--at the auctioneer’s salesroom on Old Brompton Road, hoping they might “take a look and tell us if they’re worth anything.”When the senior specialist of Chinese Classical Paintings opened up one of the silk scrolls, he nearly went into cardiac arrest. Unfurled before him was an image so remarkably rendered, it immediately reminded him of a set of hanging scroll paintings long thought to be destroyed. Could this be The Palace of Eighteen Perfections? The artwork, created by the Qing dynasty artist Yuan Jiang in 1693, was believed to have been secretly removed from China during the Second Opium War in 1860, when many of the royal palaces were ransacked, and lost forever.As staffers scurried around unrolling the scrolls, they discovered twenty-four pieces, each almost seven feet tall and in immaculate condition. Placed side by side, they spanned thirty-seven feet, almost filling the floor space of two workrooms. At last, the senior specialist could confirm that this was undoubtedly the mythical work described in all the classical Chinese texts he had spent much of his career studying.The Palace of Eighteen Perfections was an opulent eighth-century imperial retreat in the mountains north of modern-day Xi’an. It was said to be one of the most magnificent royal residences ever built, with grounds so vast that one had to travel between the halls on horseback. On these ancient silk scrolls, the intricate pavilions, courtyards, and gardens that meandered through a dreamlike blue-and-green mountain landscape were painted in colors so vibrantly preserved, they seemed almost electric in their iridescence.The auction-house staff stood over the exquisite masterpiece in awed silence. A find of this caliber was like discovering a long-hidden painting by da Vinci or Vermeer. When the international director of Asian Art rushed in to see them, he began to feel faint and forced himself to take a few steps back for fear that he might fall onto the delicate artwork. Choking back his tears, the director finally said, “Call François in Hong Kong. Tell him to get Oliver T’sien on the next flight to London.”1The director then declared, “We need to give these beauties the grand tour. We’re going to start out with an exhibition in Geneva, then London, then at our Rockefeller Center showroom in New York. Let’s give the world’s top collectors a chance to see it. Only then will we take it to Hong Kong, and sell it right before the Chinese New Year. By then the Chinese should be frothing at the mouth in anticipation.”Which is precisely how Corinna Ko-Tung came to be sitting in the Clipper Lounge of the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong a year later, impatiently awaiting the arrival of Lester and Valerie Liu. Her richly embossed business card listed her as an “art consultant,” but for a few select clients, she was a great deal more than that. Corinna was born to one of Hong Kong’s most pedigreed families, and she secretly parlayed her extensive connections into a very profitable sideline. For clients like the Lius, Corinna did everything from refining the art on their walls to the clothes on their back--all in service of getting them memberships at the most elite clubs, their names onto the right invitation lists, and their children into the city’s top schools. In short, she was a special consultant for social climbers.Corinna spotted the Lius as they ascended the short flight of stairs up to the mezzanine lounge overlooking the lobby. The couple cut quite a striking picture, and she had to pat herself on the back for this. The first time Corinna met the Lius, they were both in head-to-toe Prada. To these new arrivals from Guangdong, it was the height of sophistication, but to Corinna, it just screamed clueless Mainland money. Thanks to her handiwork, Lester entered the Clipper Lounge looking particularly dapper in a bespoke three-piece suit from Kilgour of Savile Row, and Valerie was chicly clad in a silvery Persian lamb parka from J. Mendel, appropriately sized black pearls, and dove-gray suede Lanvin ankle boots. But there was something a little off about her outfit--the handbag was a mistake. The glossy ombre-dyed reptile-skin bag obviously came from some nearly extinct species, but it reminded Corinna of the sort of handbag only a mistress would carry. She made a mental note to drop a hint at the appropriate moment.Valerie arrived at the table apologizing profusely. “I’m sorry we’re late. Our chauffeur mistakenly took us to the Landmark Mandarin Oriental instead of this one.”“Not a problem,” Corinna replied graciously. Tardiness was one of her pet peeves, but with the kind of retainer the Lius were paying her, she wasn’t about to complain.“I’m surprised you wanted to meet here. Don’t you think the tearoom at the Four Seasons is much nicer?” Valerie asked.“Or even the Peninsula,” Lester chimed in, casting a dismissive eye at the rectangular 1970s-era chandeliers cascading from the ceiling of the lobby.“The Peninsula gets too many tourists, and the Four Seasons is where all the new people go. The Mandarin is where proper Hong Kong families have been coming to tea for generations. My grandmother Lady Ko-Tung used to bring me here at least once a month when I was a girl,” Corinna patiently explained, adding, “You must also leave out the ‘Oriental’--we locals simply call it ‘the Mandarin.’ ”“Oh,” Valerie replied, feeling a little chastised. She glanced around, taking in the subdued oak-paneled walls and armchairs with just the perfect amount of sag in the seat cushions, her eyes suddenly widening. Leaning closer in, she whispered excitedly to Corinna, “Do you see who’s over there? Isn’t that Fiona Tung-Cheng with her mother-in-law, Alexandra Cheng, having tea with the Ladoories?”“Who are they?” Lester asked, a little too loudly.Valerie nervously shushed her husband in Mandarin. “Don’t stare--I’ll tell you later!”Corinna smiled in approval. That Valerie was a quick study. The Lius were relatively new clients, but they were Corinna’s favorite type of clients--Red Royals, she called them. Unlike fresh-off-the-boat Mainlander millionaires, these heirs of China’s ruling class--known in China as fuerdai, or “second-generation-rich”--had good manners and good teeth, and had never known the deprivation of their parents’ generation. The tragedies of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution were ancient history as far as they were concerned. Obscene gobs of money had come easily to them, so obscene gobs they were ready to part with.Lester’s family controlled one of China’s largest insurance companies, and he met Valerie, the Shanghai-born daughter of an anesthesiologist, when they were both at the University of Sydney. With an ever-growing fortune and ever-refining taste, this thirtysomething couple was ambitiously striving to make their mark on the power scene in Asia. With homes in London, Shanghai, Sydney, and New York, and a newly constructed house that resembled a cruise liner in Hong Kong’s Deep Water Bay, they were anxiously filling the walls with museum-quality art in the hopes that Hong Kong Tattle might soon do a feature.Lester got right down to business. “So how much do you think these scrolls will end up going for?”“Well, that’s what I wanted to discuss with you. I know you said you were prepared to go up to fifty million, but I have a feeling we will break all records tonight. Would you be prepared to go up to seventy-five?” Corinna said carefully, testing the waters.Lester didn’t flinch. He reached for one of the sausage puffs on the silver cake stand and said, “Are you sure it’s worth that much?”“Mr. Liu, this is the single most important work of Chinese art to ever come on the market. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity--”“It’s going to look so good in the rotunda!” Valerie couldn’t help blurting out. “We’re going to hang it so that the whole painting is panoramic, and I’m having the walls on the first and second floors repainted to exactly match the colors. I love those turquoise tones . . .”Corinna ignored Valerie’s chatter and continued. “Aside from the artwork itself, the value of owning it will be incalculable. Think how much it will raise your profile--your family’s profile--once it’s known that you acquired it. You will have beat out the top collectors in the world. I’m told that representatives for the Bins, the Wangs, and the Kuoks are bidding. And the Huangs just flew in from Taipei--interesting timing, isn’t it? I also have it on good authority that Colin and Araminta Khoo sent a special team of curators from the National Palace Museum in Taipei to examine the piece last week.”“Ooh--Araminta Khoo. She’s so beautiful and chic! I couldn’t stop reading about that incredible wedding of hers. Do you know her?” Valerie asked.“I was at the wedding,” Corinna said simply.Valerie shook her head in wonder. She tried to imagine the middle-aged, mousy-looking Corinna, who always wore the same three Giorgio Armani pantsuits, at the most glamorous event ever to hit Asia. Some people had all the luck, being born into the right family.Corinna continued her lecture. “So let me give you the drill. The auction tonight begins at eight sharp, and I have secured us entry to the Christie’s VVIP skybox. That is where you will be throughout the auction. I will be downstairs on the auction room floor, bidding exclusively for you.”“We won’t be with you?” Valerie was confused.“No, no. You’ll be in this special lounge where you can look down onto all the action.”“But won’t it be more exciting to be down on the floor itself?” Valerie pressed on.Corinna shook her head. “Trust me, you don’t want to be seen on the auction floor. The VVIP skybox is where you want to be. That’s where all the top collectors will be, and I know you will enjoy that--”“Wait a minute,” Lester interrupted. “What’s the point of buying the damn thing then? How will anyone know we made the winning bid?”“First of all, you will be seen by everyone at the VVIP skybox, so people will already suspect, and first thing tomorrow, I will have one of my sources at the South China Morning Post issue an unconfirmed report that Mr. and Mrs. Lester Liu of the Harmony Insurance family acquired the painting. Trust me, that’s the classy way to do it. You want people to speculate. You want to be that unconfirmed report.”“Ooh, you’re so brilliant, Corinna!” Valerie squealed in excitement.“But if it’s ‘unconfirmed,’ how will people know?” Lester was still confused.“Hiyah, slow tortoise, everyone will see the painting when we throw our housewarming party next month,” Valerie chastised her husband, smacking him on the knee. “They will confirm it with their own envious eyes!”The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, situated right on the harbor in Wan Chai, boasted overlapping curved roofs that resembled a gigantic manta ray gliding through the water. That same evening, a parade of starlets, boldface-name socialites, low-level billionaires, and the sort of people Corinna Ko-Tung deemed to be inconsequential paraded through the Grand Hall, vying for the most visible seats at the auction of the century, while the back of the room was packed to the rafters with the international press and onlookers. Upstairs in the plush VVIP skybox, Valerie and Lester were in seventh heaven as they rubbed elbows with the serious-money crowd over Laurent-Perrier champagne and canapes prepared by Cafe Gray.When at last the auctioneer stepped up to the polished wood podium, the lights in the hall began to dim. A massive gold latticework screen ran along the wall facing the stage, and at the appointed moment, the screen began to part, revealing the hanging scrolls in all their glory. Brilliantly enhanced by the state-of-the-art lighting system, they almost appeared to glow from within. The crowd gasped, and when the lights came up again, the auctioneer promptly began the session without any fuss: “An exceedingly rare set of twenty-four hanging scrolls from the Qing dynasty, ink and color on silk, depicting the Palace of Eighteen Perfections, by Yuan Jiang. Inscribed by the artist, and dated 1693. Shall we have an opening bid of--one million?”Valerie could feel the adrenaline coursing through her veins as she saw Corinna raise her blue-numbered paddle to volley the first bid. A flurry of paddles began popping up around the room, and the price began its stratospheric climb. Five million. Ten million. Twelve million. Fifteen million. Twenty million. Within a matter of minutes, the bid was at forty million. Lester leaned forward in his chair, analyzing the action on the auction-room floor like some complex chess match, and Valerie clawed her nails into his shoulder repeatedly in high anticipation.When the bidding hit sixty million, Lester’s phone rang. It was Corinna sounding frantic. “Suey doh sei,2 it’s going up too fast! We’re going to pass your seventy-five-million limit in no time. Do you want to keep bidding?”Lester breathed in deeply. Any expenditure over fifty million would surely be noticed by his father’s bean counters, and there would be some explaining to do. “Keep going till I stop you,” he ordered.Valerie’s head was spinning in excitement. They were so close. Imagine, soon she would own something that even Araminta Khoo coveted! At eighty million, the bidding finally slowed down. No more paddles in the room were raised with the exception of Corinna’s, and it seemed like there were only two or three telephone buyers remaining to bid against the Lius. The price was going up only in increments of half a million, and Lester closed his eyes, praying he would get it for under ninety million. It was worth it. It was worth the scolding he would get from his father. He would make his plea that he had bought the family a billion dollars’ worth of good publicity.Suddenly there came a commotion from the back of the auction room. Murmurs could be heard as the standing-room-only crowd began to give way. Even in a room packed with celebrities dressed to the nines, a hush came over the space as a strikingly attractive Chinese woman with jet-black hair, powdered white skin, and crimson lips, dramatically dressed in a black velvet off-the-shoulder gown, emerged from the crowd. Flanked by two snow-white Russian wolfhounds on long diamond leashes, the lady began to walk slowly up the central aisle as every head swiveled toward the sensational sight.Clearing his throat discreetly into the mic, the auctioneer tried to regain the attention of the room. “I have eighty-five point five million, who will say eighty-six?”1 Oliver T’sien--one of Christie’s most highly valued deputy chairmen--has long-standing relationships with many of the world’s top collectors. (Being related to practically every important family in Asia didn’t hurt.)2 Cantonese for “So rotten I could die!”

Editorial Reviews

Advance praise for China Rich Girlfriend:“Kevin Kwan’s brand of giddy wealth porn arrived in 2013 with Crazy Rich Asians, not a moment too soon… China Rich Girlfriend [is] the second volume in what has been projected as a gossipy, good-humored trilogy that will follow the richest old families of Singapore, Hong Kong and a few from mainland China. They join in a single shared pursuit: watching in horror as their youngest generations squander money in ways so staggering that Western show-offs look like pikers by comparison… Mr. Kwan has good aim with his fashion world- and ego-skewering shivs. And regardless of how reality-based these characters may be, he has his style references down cold… [Keeps] readers surprised and inquisitive… Snarky… Wicked… Funny.” –Janet Maslin, The New York Times   “As the real China rich dig their nails into the world of the wealthy and wasteful, Kwan sharpens his with another acerbic yet affectionate examination of Asian uber-elite social mores, still largely invisible in Western popular culture… The novel is filled with jaw-dropping accounts of opulence… and showdowns worthy of an episode of "Gossip Girl."… China Rich Girlfriend is a crazy parade through the lives of the aspirational elite. It's also a rich portrait of Asia's real obsession with consumerism and its economic rise, one whose trajectory, like Kwan's, is not yet complete.” —Nicole Lee, Los Angeles Times   “In this year’s best beach reading, Jane Austen meets Singapore… There’s no timely cocktail I’d rather recommend than China Rich Girlfriend… As frothy as the egg whites on the sort of cocktail you should drink while reading Kwan’s books. But if you need to assuage your guilt about summer reading with a little intellectual patina, Kwan has you covered too; His peek into this rarified world is spiked with tart observations about old and new money, the nuances of racism and the way they all interact… A cheeky reminder that those who think they can’t make a romance or a comedy of manners work in an entirely non-white setting are not just lying or kidding themselves, but wasting the almost gluttonous opportunities available to storytellers who stretch beyond convention… Fizzy, highly entertaining.” –Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post“The high jinks of China’s young and reckless 0.0001 percent… keep you turning the page… [A] black comedy… What I enjoyed most while reading China Rich Girlfriend were the moments of nihilistic glee at the self-absorption of the Chinese demimonde, the American Pyscho-like obsession with designer brands and desirable addresses. Kwan speaks of this culture with the authoritative tone of an insider… with anthropological analysis detailing the habits of various subspecies of ‘crazy rich Asians.’” –Arthur Chu, The New York Times Book Review   "Take a Jane Austen novel, combine it with Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and set it in the glittering capitals of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. What have you got? This deliciously fun follow-up to Kwan's bestselling Crazy Rich Asians...[a] field guide to Asia's uberwealthy echelon and comic satire at its best." —People“Last year Kevin Kwan introduced summer fun readers to a cast of characters entirely foreign but somehow familiar…In China Rich Girlfriend, he continues that story but throws into the mix the recently acquired fortunes of China that take to easy street like it’s a superhighway… They offer a taste of Asian opulence served with skewering humor. Delectable wretched excess.” –New York Daily News   “Those Crazy Rich Asians are back as a mix of old and new characters in Kwan's new novel, China Rich Girlfriend... The book brings the foibles of the wealthy into a new setting: China. It reflects the ascendance of a new elite — the product of the booming economy of mainland China. This fresh crop of billionaires form a new strata of Asia's one percent, what Kwan likes to call the "China Rich."… Kwan's characters are powerful and attractive, living in the lap of luxury.” –All Things Considered, NPR weekend   "The summer's funniest beach read. When Crazy Rich Asians hit shelves in peak beach-read season two summers ago, readers ate up its unrestrained and uproarious fictional depictions of the opulent lives of Asia's super elite. . . China Rich Girlfriend follow[s] the same multitentacled clan and their world-traveling, high-spending, and backstabbing antics." –Lauren Christensen, Vanity Fair   “The much-anticipated sequel to Crazy Rich Asians (a great summer read in its own right), China Rich Girlfriend continues the tale of Rachel Chu and her upcoming nuptials to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia... With the same hilarity and scandalous narrative as the first novel, China Rich Girlfriend will not disappoint both fans and newcomers to the series.” —Town and Country “When you're on a never-ending long-haul flight: China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan’s frothy sequel to his debut novel, Crazy Rich Asians, revisits the world of Hong Kong’s and Singapore’s super-super-elite. Kwan himself is from Singapore, and these sharply observed books have an insider’s authority. Girlfriend is also so diverting that it (almost) made me forget that my seatmate on a recent flight from New York to Dubai was muttering to himself nonstop.” –Hanya Yanagihara, Conde Nast Traveler  "Lifestyles of the rich and famous, China-style. A follow to Kwan's lively debut, Crazy Rich Asians, this new book delivers more over-the-top consumption in Asia's most exclusive locale.” –The Houston Chronicle“Kevin Kwan has a new book coming out soon. It's called China Rich Girlfriend, and if you don't know why this is shriek-worthy news, allow me to introduce you to Kwan's first novel, Crazy Rich Asians, [a] gloriously, irreverently fun and dishy novel.” –Roxane Gay, NPR“His first book was a riot of high-spending extremes, and in its sequel Kevin Kwan again revels in a world where Gulfstream jets come with their own koi ponds… The equivalent of a Bubble Tea concoction laced with Henry James extracts and Jackie Collins sprinkles—tracking a level of wealth that makes even Downton Abbey look more like Downton Arriviste… Unravelling the endless modes of snobbery is sport for Kwan, and the set pieces in China Rich Girlfriend are such that even Serena van der Woodsen might gasp… Ingenious… In the same way that Edith Wharton catalogued the Gilded Age via novels like The Age of Innocence, Kwan—in his novels—is doing his bit for a China that now has the second-highest number of millionaires in the world.” —Shinan Govani, The Daily Beast  “Kwan returns with an equally good-natured, catty-as-hell sequel to his bestselling roman à clef about China's new and old money dynasties. For those not cued in, Kwan's tone is breakneck and utterly disarming—part Oscar Wilde, part Judith Krantz, part Arthur Frommer . . . Hilarious . . . Over-the-top and hard to stop.” –Kirkus“China Rich Girlfriend is the most fun I’ve had reading a book in quite some time. The vibrantly drawn characters and equally vivid settings in and around Beijing make for a jam-packed, lively story… [and] a cast of characters who are wholly believable and human.” –Amy Scribner, BookPage “To be let loose into the decadent playground of the filthy rich offers the reader a heady taste of vicarious escapism…Yet to dismiss this book as merely a soulless lark would be a disservice to Kwan and his impeccable writing. Behind their dapper and chic exteriors, his caricatures have messy emotional lives and grapple with the same problems facing the rest of us not blessed with unfathomable wealth… Read China Rich Girlfriend for the exuberant spectacle of zippy vintage cars, gossipy matriarchs-who-lunch and reckless profligacy but read it also for its very engaging narrative about people like us.”—Thuy On, The Sydney Morning Herald “What happens when the young woman destined to marry Asia’s most eligible bachelor gets derailed by a shocking family secret? That’s what Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians) examines in this amusing, whirlwind novel about Rachel Chu, who discovers her long-lost father and falls headlong into a Shanghai — the fashion! the social climbing! the secrets! — wilder than her wildest dreams.”—The Miami Herald“I loved China Rich Girlfriend… Like Gossip Girl and Dynasty and the royal family of England all at the same time. Kwan’s characters behave hideously—and it’s hilarious.” —Elaine Lui, Flare“Kwan’s latest follows in the footsteps of his wildly imaginative Crazy Rich Asians but adds even more conspicuous consumption and over-the-top behavior… Resplendent with gorgeous description …. The dialog is always top-notch. There are many fascinating substories... A sprinkling of footnotes adds local expressions, insightful asides, and Kwan’s own snarky personal comments. Among the many laugh-out-loud incidents are examples of the extreme cheapness of some of these ­ultrawealthy people and tidbits about their staff… The conclusion offers up additional shocks and surprises that will have readers clamoring for more. Those who enjoy splendid writing and getting a glimpse at how the other half (probably much less than 50 percent) lives will delight in this book.” —Library Journal (Starred Review) “Very enjoyable... Just as funny as Crazy Rich Asians, this globe-spanning tale of excess includes enough snootiness and class snobbery to fill a multitude of designer handbags. It’s a modern-day comedy of manners that highlights what it means to be ‘China rich’ as well as the things that money can never buy.” –Minneapolis Star Tribune"China Rich Girlfriend is an engaging page-turner with a multi-layered, inventive narrative. Kwan has clearly taken a few lessons from one of America's great social satirists - think Tom Wolfe set loose on the wealthiest enclaves of Confucian Asia… His sequel is not only dazzlingly creative (a private jet decorated to look like a Balinese resort? Take me there, please!) and rollicking good fun, but also ambitious in its scope and dimension. With China Rich Girlfriend, Kwan shows readers that to get rich is one thing, but to get crazy rich is glorious. He also proves his standing as one of the few authors talented, confident and savvy enough to engage an international readership and serve up the New Asia on a gleaming 24-karat gold platter."–South China Morning Post“Singapore-based sensation Kevin Kwan follows up his smash success, Crazy Rich Asians, which is currently being made into a film, with another sure-to-be hit. As with his first novel, Kwan takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the lives—and nuptial preparations—of absurdly wealthy society folks in mainland China.” —Readers Digest (Canada)“China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan’s sequel to the bestselling Crazy Rich Asians, is perhaps even more delicious than the first… A frothy fiction focused on a multigenerational, intermarried, mega-rich clan… Kwan created a new hybrid universe—one where there’s a preoccupation with lineage and marrying off daughters into rich families—that is the realm of Jane Austen, combined with an obsession with social hierarchy and status signifiers straight out of Tom Wolfe… [This] delicious sequel… manages to be more nuanced (and savage) in its social deconstruction—and even more fun… Moments of human generosity and decency are peppered throughout. But that’s not the pleasure: This stems from tut-tutting the flagrant display of wealth while picking up insider tips and luxuriating in a voyeuristic glimpse into the original Dynasty.” —Anne Kingston, Macleans