One of our Books of the Year 2016.
February 2016 Book of the Month.
A remarkably touching and quite, quite beautiful read. Set in Hong Kong, the prologue is teeming with people making their way to this remarkable city. Margaret, Mercy and Hilary are three expatriate women learning to survive heartache in a different and sometimes difficult world. Three distinct lives, at first separate, step closer to each other, then the links between the three women tighten, almost to choking point. Janice Y. K. Lee writes with an exquisite, startling intensity, she provokes thoughts and feelings into exploring identity, grief and a fluttering of possibilities. Hong Kong is breathtaking, with the mix of East and West acting as a vibrant backdrop to the intimate story of these women. There is a real depth and energy to the writing, yet the thread of compassion that weaves through the pages ensures a delicate balance. ‘The Expatriates’ is wonderfully fascinating, compelling and profound, and I absolutely loved it. ~ Liz Robinson
Set in present-day Hong Kong, The Expatriates follows the lives of three women. An unspeakable tragedy leaves twenty-something Mercy with a crippling personal inertia, and Margaret, a mother of three, numb and unable to heal. In the same small expatriate community, Hilary tries to distract herself from a marriage gone stale by providing piano lessons for a local orphan, only to find her actions openly criticized on an anonymous online forum. The individual, sometimes overlapping perspectives of Mercy, Margaret and Hilary are woven together, exposing the insularity and complex privilege of the expatriate world, whilst also revealing the fragility of a woman's position in the world. When the women are struck by tragedy, each of them realizes how shockingly dependent they were upon conforming to the unspoken rules of their milieu. In Hong Kong, without speaking Cantonese or having a job (it is almost always the husband who precipitates the move), these women find themselves, almost unexpectedly, stripped of their former identities and living in a land of country clubs and housemaids. Cut off from family, friends, and jobs, they find themselves in a world where the old rules no longer apply. The Expatriates is a novel about overpowering grief, the transformative power of forgiveness and how finding oneself in a strange land can be the best way to find one's true self.
Closing date: 07/09/2018
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
'Lee tells two engrossing love stories... Just hide your phone before cracking this one open-or risk calling your ex' Marie Claire on The Piano Teacher
'Lee delivers a standout debut [with] layers of intrigue and more than a few unexpected twists' Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Piano Teacher
'Lee unfolds the story with the brisk grace and discretion of the society she describes' New Yorker on The Piano Teacher
Publication date: 12/01/2016
Publisher: Little, Brown an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
|Publication date:||12th January 2016|
|Author:||Janice Y. K. Lee|
|Publisher:||Little, Brown an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
|Genres:||Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,|
Janice Y.K. Lee was born in Hong Kong to Korean parents and lived there until she was fifteen. After graduating from Harvard University with a degree in English and American Literature and Language, she worked at Elle and Mirabella magazines in New York. She wrote The Piano Teacher after completing an MFA, and in between having four children. She lives in Hong Kong with her family. The Expatriates is her second novel. Author photo © Xue TanMore About Janice Y. K. Lee