(Author: Kevin Kwan) + (Year: 2013) + (Goodreads)
(Around the World: Singapore)
When I saw the title of this book, I was interested but not totally sold on it. I wasn’t sure what to prepare myself for, especially in terms of the seriousness of the book. By that I mean that I was not sure to what extent it will satisfy my need to learn about this culture by reading about it.
However, Crazy Rich Asians is a total success in terms of representation of Singaporean culture. It does so much to explain so many habits, traditions and facts about the country as a whole and its citizens, that I received an abundance of information. Not only that, but it was a great opportunity to learn about everything from food to history.
About the book itself, Crazy Rich Asians was both serious and also very fun at times. Ultimately, it was a love story, but one that is very foreign to my culture and understanding. I know more or less how life and relationships go in Europe, I can assume what they look like in the States, I have studied the culture of the Turkic countries up to the wedding and funeral traditions, but Southeast Asia is a completely different place. That part of the world is very much unknown to me and soaked in so much tradition, which is both hard to grasp and entirely fascinating, sometimes not in a positive light (i.e. I believe that people should marry out of love, not out of need for a social status, which in all fairness exists in other places of the world too, but it abides by different rules than the ones shown in Crazy Rich Asians).
Character-wise more could have been wanted of the main couple. I found the recurring character hilarious and interesting, but Rachel and Nick were not great in my opinion. Rachel was very righteous and at times a bit daft, whereas Nick was just a shell. So much was said about him that his actual personality got lost and the author could not actually prove his worth because he was busy depicting him through the eyes of others.
As one would expect, even though the book was educational, it was essentially a novel full of drama and twist(of sorts), so I could say that it offers something for everyone. Overall, a satisfactory world read and a pleasant chick-lit to get your mind off of things.
Thanks to Celeste for the recommendation.