For fans of Crazy Rich Asians: Meet the Wangs, the unforgettable immigrant family whose spectacular fall from glorious riches to (still name-brand) rags brings them together in a way money never could.
Charles Wang, a brash, lovable businessman who built a cosmetics empire and made a fortune, has just lost everything in the financial crisis. So he rounds up two of his children from schools that he can no longer afford and packs them into the only car that wasn’t repossessed. Together with their wealth-addicted stepmother, Barbra, they head on a cross-country journey from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the Upstate New York retreat of the eldest Wang daughter, Saina.
“Highly entertaining” (BuzzFeed), this “fresh Little Miss Sunshine” (Vanity Fair) is a “compassionate and bright-eyed novel” (New York Times Book Review), an epic family saga, and a new look at what it means to belong in America. “When the Wangs take the world, we all benefit” (USA Today).
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
An October 2016 Indie Next Pick
A PopSugar Best Book for Fall
A BuzzFeed Incredible Book for Fall
A Nylon Amazing Book for Fall
A Bustle Book for Your Fall TBR List
A Millions Most Anticipated Book
A Frisky Book to Read for Fall
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Riches-to-rags stories are a guilty pleasure of ours—though in the case of the Wangs, the pleasure beats out the guilt by miles. When this Chinese immigrant family lose their fortune to a crumbling U.S. economy, their comeuppance is rough and public: no more boarding schools, luxury cars, or prominent placement in the society pages. Author Jade Chang sends her protagonists on a road trip, forcing the Wangs into close quarters as they come to terms with their new reality. We laughed out loud at Chang's spot-on portrayal of the brazen narcissism and tender egos of a family whose members aren’t all that likable yet are somehow lovable.
In Chang's sparkling debut novel, a family whose fortune has been lost in the 2008 financial crisis takes a cross-country road trip in an effort to regroup. Bouncy patriarch Charles Wang, who immigrated to Los Angeles from China by way of Taiwan when he was a young man and made a fortune manufacturing makeup, drives his daughter, teenage Grace, an avid fashion blogger, and his son, Andrew, an aspiring stand-up comic, across the country with Barbra, their stepmother. Their destination is a little town in the Catskills, where his oldest daughter, Saina, a conceptual artist who has retired in shame from the New York City art world, lives. The family stops in New Orleans, where virginal Andrew becomes temporarily involved with an older woman, and in Alabama, where Charles attempts to deliver a U-Haul full of custom makeup to a boutique country store. Various small crises, notably Saina's attempt to decide between a sweet new lover and an unreliable older one, keep the plot percolating. Chang's charming and quirky characters and comic observations make the novel a jaunty joy ride to remember.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fun and sad and a real good read
A really fun road trip story, the characters are a very likable bunch, and you find yourself hoping it all works out for them, as individuals, and as a family.
Finally put the book down after dragging through two thirds of it. No likable characters, no interesting situations, tedious sorts of lessons in economics & history worked in that don’t drive the story in any meaningful way. Halfway through the book the only thing I was looking forward to was getting out of their car & off this road trip.
The author tried too hard to mimic the writing style of Kevin Kwan. Unfortunately, it just fell flat. I got through 34% of the book and had to quit. I normally read books all the way through, but I’d rather quit now and spend my time reading something else.