We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Expatriates Audiobook

The Expatriates: A Novel

Regular Price:$31.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

From the author of the New York Times best seller The Piano Teacher, a beautiful, transporting novel about motherhood, marriage, and friendship.

Janice Y. K. Lee's blockbuster hit debut, The Piano Teacher, was called "immensely satisfying" by People, "intensely readable" by O, The Oprah Magazine, and "a rare and exquisite story" by Elizabeth Gilbert. 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. Atmospheric, moving, and utterly compelling, The Expatriates confirms Lee as an exceptional talent and one of our keenest observers of women's inner lives.

©2016 Janice Y. K. Lee (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

"Devastating and heartwarming, and exquisite in every way, this is a book you'll fall deeply in love with and never want to put down." (Kevin Kwan)

"We found ourselves racing through this exotic, sexy, heartbreaking book.... We couldn't wait to find out what happens to each of the women." (Glamour )

"Ann Marie Lee's singsong intonation expresses the feminine spirit at the heart of Janice Y.K. Lee's long awaited new novel.... Author and narrator blend perfectly to convey a powerful journey of love, loss, and growth." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (224 )
5 star
 (64)
4 star
 (85)
3 star
 (54)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (14)
Overall
3.7 (201 )
5 star
 (51)
4 star
 (78)
3 star
 (49)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (16)
Story
4.0 (201 )
5 star
 (78)
4 star
 (65)
3 star
 (42)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 02-27-16
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 02-27-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    219
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    201
    81
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    18
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engrossing"

    An engrossing portrait of women living abroad, without being a novel about living abroad-- the story could take place anywhere in the Western world.

    It's about: Three women and how their lives intersect, and secrets, and all that stuff. Well done.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TD 01-30-16
    TD 01-30-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "modern story of women"

    The book was interesting. It made the world seem a smaller place. It was also refreshing to show the power of forgiveness and also that all woman are not spiteful. I really enjoyed the end.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alekxia 01-27-16
    Alekxia 01-27-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rough at first, but solid by the end"

    It was a little tough to get into the boom in the beginning but by the end the story really came together and it was wonderful. I enjoyed her first book and had been looking forward to this one. She didn't disappoint!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trudy Owens Orem, UT, US 01-25-16
    Trudy Owens Orem, UT, US 01-25-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    340
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    245
    208
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You can be a jerk in a foreign country too"

    This is a book for women; 99% of men will not enjoy it.

    If you are expecting a book about love, relationships, forgiveness, and redemption, then you will love this book. If you are looking for something about ex-pats and their lives and struggles with foreign cultures, this is not that book.

    Having lived as an ex-pat for 14 years, both single and with my husband and adopted local kids, I expected to connect with this story, especially since I had lived in Taiwan and visited Hong Kong many times so I know the land, the people and the culture.

    This book is much less about being ex-patriates than it is about social groups and gaps; dealing with infertility, tragedy, betrayal, and infidelity; being the victim or the cause of suffering. It is about mothers, motherhood, and women, solidarity among women.

    It is written beautifully, and develops gradually into a whole. There is no reason for it to be set in Hong Kong, but then no reason not to either.

    Three women, each struggling with her own burdens, then suffers another deeper blow. This is about how they handle this, how they view others and then themselves, grow stronger to cope with their lives, then learn about patience, forgiveness, acceptance, and redemption. Along the way, they learn about mothers and what "woman" means.

    Incidental to the women's stories, are the three men and the ways in which they deal with the same events the women are dealing with. One of the men is a stand-up, supportive guy who actually hangs in there and helps. The other two go off on their own pity-parties and, by the end of the story, haven't learned to be men. There is still hope for them, but that would be later.

    The story loses a star for me because of the disconnect with the title. The ex-pats didn't have to deal with anything they wouldn't have confronted back home. The Hong Kong-ness didn't matter to the story; they could or would have been the same jerks there as here. What I wanted more of was how being in a foreign country makes you feel as if your actions are invisible to the world and don't matter because no one back home sees you. I wanted more than the little bit there was of how the ex-pats interact with the locals. There were a couple, all negative, but this book wasn't really about that. This was just a regular-coming-of-age story even though the women were beyond teenage.

    There are quite a few tidbits of wisdom here like, "you have let happiness happen." These and all the redemptive events happen quite late in the story, so it is a bit hard to slog along to get there. But it really is a beautiful story, with many points to ponder.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Iris Pereyra 03-28-16

    Addicted to books, but especially to audiobooks!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    179
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    218
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    274
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Charms and Challenges Of Life As An Expat"

    I love it when an author uses a geographical setting as the focal point of a story and in Janice Y.K. Lee's elegant second novel, Hong Kong certainly plays a central role.

    For the expat American community featured in this novel, the former British colony has it all: a flourishing economy, a modern infrastructure, and a relative tolerant society, all set in a beautiful and exotic location.

    This is a community full of overachievers, people that radiate success, affluence and wellness. Many of them have relocated to Hong Kong pursuing new career opportunities, at the same time most of them consider the place to serve only as a provisional home.

    The Expatriates follows the lives of Mercy, Margaret and Hilary all of whom have relocated from America to Hong Kong at different times and under very different circumstances, but they also face similar struggles trying to fit it into a society that uses cultural norms that are unfamiliar and at times feel outright regressive.

    "Hong Kong is so small" is an aphorism we hear from the expats again and again, which might strike you as odd considering they live in a place populated by 7+million people.

    Whether is a conscious decision or not, inevitably these Americans find it easier to socialize with their own kind, this results in a "living in a fishbowl" lifestyle, a place where everyone knows everyone, privacy is a scarce commodity and secrets are hard to keep.

    The lives of our three protagonists will overlap in unexpected ways and they'll find themselves entangled in a complicated web of lies and betrayal, but they'll also get a chance to forgive and start anew.

    These women have lived for the most part in a bubble, they have enjoyed vacations to Bali, excursions by junk boats and relaxing parties at their country club, but The Expatriates underlines the fact that a life of privilege and adversity are not mutually exclusive and that ironically having such a sheltered existence if anything, might make it harder to recover from personal loss and hardship.

    At the end, the stories of these women remind us how fragile life is and how our destinies can so radically changed in the blink of an eye.

    I really enjoyed Ann Marie Lee's narration of this novel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Kumpuris Little Rock, AR, US 02-20-16
    Mary Kumpuris Little Rock, AR, US 02-20-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Story kept me going"

    Narrator's enunciation bothered me through out. Story kept me listening but was happy to see the book end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michal Scotsdale, AZ, United States 02-21-16
    Michal Scotsdale, AZ, United States 02-21-16 Member Since 2009

    I live in Scottsdale, Arizona. I have 5 grown children, play ukuele exercise, and read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    149
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    190
    63
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "6 degrees of Separation"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Expatriates to be better than the print version?

    I really enjoyed the reader, and I thought she really added appropriate humor, sorrow and emotion to this book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mercy. Growing up is never easy, but she did a good job trying.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed the ending.


    If you could take any character from The Expatriates out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Margaret. I would want to be a cheerleader for her grief.


    Any additional comments?

    Spoiler Alert. I really thought that the boy that Hillary was adopting would turn out to be Margarets child. I really hoped that would happen. Really enjoyed the book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Kardos 06-16-16

    coffee lover

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it!"

    Loved this book and loved the narrator. I have listened to several books that she has read and I am always pleased. This book features women as the main characters each living a difference experience as an Expat. The narrator's ability to interpret each character and portray her individually is natural and intuitive. A great listen all around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dee South MS 06-04-16
    Dee South MS 06-04-16 Member Since 2015

    bookie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    253
    44
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My Life is So Boring and Normal!"
    If you could sum up The Expatriates in three words, what would they be?

    WHAT THE (fill in the blank)!!!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way that all these characters were interwoven in the story but you really don't know that until you keep reading. It's like being given tiny bits of information one bit at a time until you have a big, huge pile.


    Which character – as performed by Ann Marie Lee – was your favorite?

    I didn't really have a favorite. Some of the women seemed pathetic and some seemed like cats on the prowl but they kept changing rolls. The one I was mad with a chapter ago is the one I felt sorry for in the next chapter.


    If you could take any character from The Expatriates out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I wouldn't want to eat with any of these gals - or guys for that matter.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book. Felt the spiders web of connection between these characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GCS18 06-02-16
    GCS18 06-02-16 Member Since 2016

    Gilded age and Victorian historical fiction is my thing, but throw me some Neil Gaiman or Ray Bradbury and I'm good too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprised this wasn't rated higher!"

    Great Listen

    Perfect performance, I enjoyed it very much! A world I knew nothing about. Would have given more stars if some of the characters had a slightly more realistic journey.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.