The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang (3-1/2 Stars)

 

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is an entertaining debut novel. Charles Wang, a man with a self-made, multi-million dollar cosmetics manufacturing business, loses it all in the financial crisis. He and his second wife, Barbra, leave their Los Angeles estate in an old car, pick-up Charles’ youngest daughter at boarding school, pick-up his son at Arizona State University, and set across country to upstate New York to move in with his oldest daughter. Their road trip  is a satirical, wry and insightful look at family, which is all that is left when you lose it all.

What I liked:  the characters develop slowly along the way, progressing from rich and spoiled to caring about people rather than things. What I didn’t like:  the time spent on Saina’s contemporary art world, as it is something beyond my comprehension, or the Chinese phrases and/or dialogue without any translation (I’m sure it was to remind me that I’m the outsider, but it was just annoying).

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