Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Expatriates
by Janice YK Lee

Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 352
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Now, in her long-awaited new novel, Lee explores with devastating poignancy the emotions, identities, and relationships of three very different American women living in the same small expat community in Hong Kong. 

Mercy, a young Korean American and recent Columbia graduate, is adrift, undone by a terrible incident in her recent past. Hilary, a wealthy housewife, is haunted by her struggle to have a child, something she believes could save her foundering marriage. Meanwhile, Margaret, once a happily married mother of three, questions her maternal identity in the wake of a shattering loss. As each woman struggles with her own demons, their lives collide in ways that have irreversible consequences for them all. 

Kritters Thoughts:  I always love a story with multiple characters and stories and even better when those stories intertwine!  From the beginning there are two main characters - Mercy who is Korean American and living in Hong Kong kind of a little lost and trying to find a path; the other main character is Margaret and she is in the middle of housewife life and trying to keep her family afloat in an interesting country.  

I loved from the beginning the reader knew that these two would be connected, but just didn't know how.  BUT we learn early enough on and the suspense is perfectly timed.  About a third of the way in another character is added and for some reason I thought her story would be even more woven into the other two that it was - no spoilers just saying.  I wanted Hilary's story to be even more connected and I had a thought, but can't divulge it would spoil the heck out of things!

I was most excited to read this book to read the different stories of people living in a country not of their own.  I have had a friend who lived in London for a bit and one in Germany and always thought it would be a fun adventure and/or departure from life in the States.  

I liked this book, it wasn't a love, but it was a solidly good read.  I loved reading a book not set in a typical place that I read, but had typical characters that I could easily enjoy.


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Viking/Penguin.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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