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The Love Wife | [Gish Jen]

The Love Wife

Critically acclaimed author Gish Jen is a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee and the person John Updike proclaimed as the young novelist most likely to become his successor. In The Love Wife, Jen poignantly explores the explosive dynamics of a mixed-race modern family.
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Publisher's Summary

Critically acclaimed author Gish Jen is a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee and the person John Updike proclaimed as the young novelist most likely to become his successor. In The Love Wife, Jen poignantly explores the explosive dynamics of a mixed-race modern family.

Chinese-American Carnegie Wong and his Waspy wife Blondie have two adopted children of Asian descent, Lilly and Wendy. The girls are a handful, but they are nothing compared to Carnegie's mother. Mama Wong's dislike for Blondie is relentless, so much so that she introduces a Chinese woman named Lan to the household. When Lilly and Wendy begin to favor Lan over their white mother, Blondie clings ever more tightly to her biological son, Bailey.

A powerful novel peppered with humor, The Love Wife is absolutely riveting from the first word to the last. The vocal talents of a highly-skilled, award-winning group of narrators make for an exquisite audio production.

©2004 Gish Jen; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Jen captures the not always likable Wong family with her trademark compassion, laser-like attention to detail, and quirky wit....This novel has a robust, lived-in quality that makes you miss it when it's over." (Publishers Weekly)
"A vibrant work notable for its unusual and arresting dialogue-saturated style....A smart, piquant, and far-reaching tragicomedy." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (84 )
5 star
 (18)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (27)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
3.4 (16 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Story
3.3 (16 )
5 star
 (2)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Cynthia Lake Linden , MI, USA 11-11-04
    Cynthia Lake Linden , MI, USA 11-11-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
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    215
    28
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    Overall
    "really special book"

    Apparently this book is all dialogue, so it makes a great audiobook. It is read by several readers and they are all wonderful. The Chinese matriarch is outspoken and says what she thinks, the teen Lizzy does too. You hear from each character in turn throughout the book and the characterizations are all very good. The Chinese way of thinking is portrayed very well. A long book and full of surprises, I really enjoyed it very much.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne Camp Connell, CA, United States 03-02-05
    Adrienne Camp Connell, CA, United States 03-02-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    178
    44
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Fascinating Tale"

    I really enjoyed this book enormously! It is so perfectly read, you can picture the characters in your mind. Having the various voices adds so much to the story, especially with the Chinese accents. It is a terrific story; gave me lots to think about. I would highly recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billzen 02-20-05
    Billzen 02-20-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "My favorite audiobook!"

    Gish Jen has written a delightful and enjoyable book with vibrant and rich dialog. The story has enough twists and the characters so engaging that it is difficult to stop listening! This is my favorite audiobook thus far! The readers are fantastic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lily St. Augustine, FL, USA 07-27-09
    Lily St. Augustine, FL, USA 07-27-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    121
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    24
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    FOLLOWING
    8
    1
    Overall
    "good story, well narrated"

    It's been a long time since I found an audio book I enjoyed. This one was not GREAT, but was good enough. I thought the use of multiple readers was very effective, since much of the book was written as monologues by the different characters. It might have been confusing if only one reader had been used.

    One thing that irks me in current language in general is the overuse of certain words, and the author is guilty of that. The one that bugs me the most - "amazing" - in particular. How can THAT many things really be amazing?! But perhaps she was just using the vernacular of young girls. It's just my hot button, though, and shouldn't deter anyone from choosing this book. All in all, I'd rate it credit-worthy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Spradlin San Luis Obispo, CA 03-23-07
    W. Spradlin San Luis Obispo, CA 03-23-07 Member Since 2004

    Wendy

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    829
    14
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    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Five star"

    the kind of literature you want to read--to see the words in print on the page.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Corrales, NM, United States 09-18-06
    Mark Corrales, NM, United States 09-18-06 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
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    19
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    2
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    Overall
    "ok, nothing great"

    I made it through this novel, which is a family drama dealing with Chinese and Chinese-American ethnic identity. It's sort of interesting but most of the adult characters in this "love triangle" are not really very likeable. I could only emphasize with the children, who sound like an adult mimicking a child. Bottom line: this is OK, but there are better novels out there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bobbi B 06-23-08
    Bobbi B 06-23-08 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    142
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    "Enjoyable"

    I gave this audio a four star as it was a very enjoyable listen. I thought that the characters were interesting and seem to be very real to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles McNeal 06-29-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    477
    6
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    0
    1
    Overall
    "Boring at best"

    How anybody could rate this read better than a one is beyond me. I hve listened to 80-90 reads and got through all but this one. I could never follow where the author was going with a very narrow plot. Maybe if I listened for another hour or so, maybe not, to many great books out there. Cheers

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • Laura
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Missing something"

    I expected more from this story. Felt the characters and situations were not fully explored and left me somewhat hanging on for more once it ended. It had long drawn out parts as well. Did not enjoy the performance that much either bus suppose that's a function of the story depth as well. I have read/heard better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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