02 Sep / Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan [in Booklist]
Following the über-success of his three-part Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan returns with another over-the-top bestseller, this time contemporizing and diversifying E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View. Lydia Look, narrator for previous Kwan titles, ushers the characters through a (practically) royal East/West wedding in Capri, then a summer in the Hamptons five years later. Joining the two parts is the expectedly complicated love story of Lucie Tang Churchill, a hapa New Yorker with Mayflower roots, and George Zao, an unbearably wealthy Hong Kong Australian architect.
With unflagging energy, Look embodies Sex and Vanity, no holds barred. Consistency is not her forte – Lucie is no New Yorker, George’s Aussie lilt wanders, Cecil’s Texan accent overtwangs – but what Look lacks in accuracy, she convincingly compensates with infectious stamina, irresistibly unveiling the eye-rolling shenanigans of Kwan’s crazy rich everyone.
Hold your judgments, however – by book’s end, only those who eschew social media and disdain public opinion will get the fairy tale
Review: “Media,” Booklist, August 2020