China Rich Girlfriend, by Kevin Kwan, is the sequel of Crazy Rich Asians and is just as exciting as the first book. China Rich Girlfriend takes place two years after the events in the first book, and each part of the book starts with a quote or passage that ties into the story. For example, the prologue begins with a passage from a news article that talks about a terrible car accident that recently occurred. As we continue reading, we are introduced to Bao Shaoyen (who is one of Eddie’s clients) and find out it was her son, Carlton, who was in the accident mentioned in the article at the beginning of the prologue. It turns out Carlton had two passengers with him when he got into the accident, and unfortunately one of the passengers ended up dying. Bao Shaoyen wants Eddie’s help to keep this information from reaching the press because her husband is a top politician, and she is afraid this information would cause him to lose his office. Eddie then blackmails his Aunt Eleanor into helping Bao Shaoyen and that is what eventually leads Eleanor to Rachel’s father.
Just like Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend switches perspective between different characters and gives us an insight to the issues they are dealing with. For example, we have Rachel visiting China and trying to get to know her father and his family. Then we see Kitty Pong (now known as Kitty Tai) trying her best to fit in with the upper-class people but is constantly being shunned by them. Kitty eventually decides to hire Corinna Ko-Tung (a woman who comes from a well-born family) to help her become more sophisticated and acceptable to the upper-class society. Finally, we see how Astrid’s marriage is coming along since the first book. Even though Michael has received an enormous fortune from his company, we see he has started changing for the worse and becoming arrogant. We also see how Astrid and Charlie are starting to get close to each other again since Astrid finds herself confiding in Charlie about some of her problems. It was a bit sad to see how the people who always had wealth and prestige in their family often look down on the people who had to work hard to move their way up in society. Even though they can now afford the same luxuries, they still aren’t always accepted by the upper class unless they behave a certain way (even the rich have certain rules to follow and breaking them can result in losing privileges).
The ending of China Rich Girlfriend made me wonder how things were going to play out in the final book. We know Eleanor now approves of Rachel because she is part of China’s wealthy elite, but we don’t know if Su Yi would change her mind. There’s been a few passages in the book where Nick is advised to stay on his grandmother’s good side or he would risk losing his inheritance. The last book is titled Rich People Problems, and I had read the summary that says Nick’s grandmother is on her deathbed and he decides to pay her a final visit (there’s also an argument over her will, which I believe might have something to do with Nick’s inheritance). It really makes me wonder if Nick will be able to patch things up with his grandmother and still be able to inherit her house or if it would go to someone else.
By Iman Simab, Resident Since 2003