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
"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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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