A book with a title as brash as Crazy Rich Asians is just asking to be picked up and read. The ascent of Asian money is all too real, yet at the same time, one can’t help but ask where such money came from – and who these people are. And thanks to Kevin Kwan’s debut novel, we can enter into this world of intrigue.
The story centres around girlfriend and boyfriend Rachel Chu and Nick Young, the latter heir to one of the largest billionaire fortunes in Singapore. The two have been living in rather isolated bliss in New York; Rachel, an American-born Chinese (ABC), knows nothing about Nick’s powerful family and the futureexpectations of him—until he brings her home for the society wedding of the year at which Nick is best man.
Naturally this female Chinese-American doctorate of economics—an outsider by all accounts because she is an ABC, who are “descended from all the peasants that were too stupid to survive in China”, and well, also because of her appalling dress sense compared to Nick’s moneyed ilk back home—becomes persona non grata among the Singaporean elite. Before long, Nick’s family and intertwined network of well-connected relatives are scheming to get rid of Rachel, the obviously “cunning, deceitful GOLD DIGGER”—and it’s a trans-continental effort that involves private investigators, devious ex-girlfriends and even a mutilated fish left in Rachel’s bag as fair warning.