The Expatriates

The Expatriates

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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"Raise a glass: The first great book-club novel of 2016 has arrived."  --USA Today,  4/4 stars

"A female, funny Henry James in Asia, Janice Y. K. Lee is vividly good on the subject of Americans abroad."  --The New York Times Book Review

" Sex and the City meets Lost in Translation ." --The Skimm

Janice Y. K. Lee's New York Times bestselling 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.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Viking,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ♭2016
ISBN: 9780525429470
0525429476
Characteristics: 332 pages

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1
1_Great_Book
Aug 12, 2016

Having lived as an expat almost all of my adult life, the context rings true no matter in which country you are living.

The groupies are the same: the short termers who are more on holiday and insist on their home comforts, the long termers who don't really fit in in either country anymore and aren't completely at ease, the ones who embrace, assimilate and adopt the country and natives as their own, even settling in by marrying and gaining permanent residency and even citizenship.... and whether they make up the centre nucleus of a small, buzzing central community network or elect to navigate an elliptical, satellite path around its edges - it's all there.

Finding one's own path, what is comfortable, adapting as events and careers evolve, the need for family and what lengths we will go to to preserve those relationships - all these themes are reflected in this story.

Thoroughly enjoyed. You don't have to know anything about Hong Kong to get what this expat story is all about.

p
p_lenssen
Jun 23, 2016

Quite depressing, but well written.

s
santiano9
May 03, 2016

Not great literature and not pretending to be. A great read though with interesting characters and a setting I know little about.

b
brangwinn
Mar 29, 2016

This book was perfect for a plane trip. It had depth and it was long enough to be satisfying. For those of us who have yearned to live in a culture unlike our own without regards to the cost of things, this book was very satisfying. Yee takes a look, a fairly complete look, at the lives of three different American women who moved to Hong Kong when their husbands were sent there to work. The American community is fairly small and when you socialize with the same people over and over lives will intersect. What Yee has done so well is to show each woman as an individual with individual needs and desires. I also have to admit I’m a sucker for stories which end well. Yee gave me 4 hours of escape reading, much nicer than listening to my neighbors in the crowded plane.

The in-depth portrayals of characters is superb. They become your friends, your neighbors, your family. Lee is an incredible talent!

c
coroboreefarm
Feb 08, 2016

An excellent story of three dissimilar women whose lives interconnect within the expat American community in Hong Kong. Janice Y. K. Lee richly details a world of wealth and privilege played out in an endless round of lunches, and dinners, shopping and holidays. Emotional and at times heartbreaking, this tale of individual challenges and choices is a memorable read.

b
bibliovore
Jan 27, 2016

This absorbing novel touches on family, motherhood, identity and what it means to experience loss. I devoured this book in just a few sittings - highly recommended!

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