Skip to main content

Book Review: The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee


Hong Kong is a thriving city full of companies that draw workers from all around the world. Expatriates arrive ready to work for six months, a year or maybe more. Those who have families bring them to experience this new culture. They try to assimilate into this new world but tend to cling to their small expat communities to hold onto some feeling of home. Mercy, Margaret and Hilary are three expatriates whose lives intertwine in this expat community.

The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee brings us into the lives of these three women, alternating chapters between them. Margaret and Mercy are both trying to overcome a tragedy that took place about a year ago. Neither seems to be able to move forward with their lives. Hilary is dealing with marital problems and longing for motherhood. They all come together in the end, but I can't tell you how! I will say that I enjoyed all of their stories, but I felt like something was missing. I was looking for more emotion or depth of character. While we learn a bit about each woman, and what they deal with is emotional, I didn't feel very connected to them.

Lee also provides glimpses of other expats, including the husbands and neighbors of Margaret, Mercy and Hilary. We get little bits of details about how some expatriates adapt and the difficulties they face. And we learn that many end up with servants in their homes in Hong Kong because that's just the norm, although this is often uncomfortable for the women as we see through Margaret's and Hilary's stories. I enjoyed these little facts because I was expecting the novel to be more about the challenges of being an expatriate. It turned out to be more of a women's fiction novel that focuses on marriage and motherhood.

Overall, The Expatriates is an interesting look at three women's lives, and their struggles with marriage, motherhood and life in a new country.

My Rating: 


This review was written based on a copy of The Expatriates that I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This post includes Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase something using my link, I will receive a very small commission but your price does not change.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

Book Review: No Story to Tell by KJ Steele

Victoria has been put down since the day she was born. First by her parents who were disappointed that she survived while her twin brother died. Then by her verbally abusive husband and his low-life friends. But soon an intriguing artist named Elliott arrives in town and starts encouraging Victoria to follow her dream of opening her own dance studio. She also begins to receive phone calls from a mysterious someone who gets her to open up about her past and face her true feelings.

In No Story to Tell, KJ Steele has captured the small-town atmosphere and brought these characters to life. From the victimized Victoria, to her drunk and obnoxious husband Bobby and his drunk and obnoxious friends, to all the side characters who you'd expect to encounter in a town like this ~ all are so realistic in both their actions and their voices. She has written a compelling story of an abused woman who thinks she is trapped in this loveless, miserable existence. But then she finds a spark of hope…

Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Title: I See You
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Genre: thriller
Published: February 21, 2017
Format: ebook (NetGalley)
Source: publisher
Buy on Amazon(affiliate link)


Have you ever felt like someone was watching you? You will after reading Clare Mackintosh's latest release I See You. Told from the perspectives of two women, one who appears to be targeted by a criminal and the other who is the police officer working the case, this psychological thriller will have you looking over your own shoulder by the end.

Zoe is a typical working mother who takes the Underground through London to her office every day. Like most commuters, she has a routine that she follows every day, leaving home at the same time, sitting in the same train car, taking the same route to work from the station. It's habit. But she starts to realize this may not be a good idea after seeing her own photo in an advertisement in the newspaper. Another woman who appears in the advertisement is murdered and Zoe starts to ge…