Sunday, July 31, 2022

 Dear Great Book Guru, Last week I went to a great celebration at the Metropolitan Bistro. After being closed for over two months, Billy and Anita Long hosted a reunion of staff and devoted customers and what a wonderful night it was! While there, someone mentioned a new thriller about two women with an ingenious scheme involving…counterfeit handbags! Have you heard of it?  Happy to be Back

Dear Happy to be Back, I just finished Kristin Chen’s COUNTERFEIT and it is a winner on many levels.  The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Ava Wong and Winnie Fang. The women had met as students at Stanford twenty years before. Winnie dropped out mysteriously after only a few months while Ava graduated with honors, went on to Harvard Law School and was hired by a prestigious law firm.  When we meet the women, Ava is married to a successful surgeon, has a young toddler, and is on maternity leave.  A now very glamorous Winnie reconnects. She is a spectacularly successful entrepreneur running a luxury handbag company (think Hermes, Prada, Marc Jacobs…) and she needs a partner with an American passport and a circumspect life. The novel takes us to multiple Chinese cities where we meet an assortment of characters - some comic, some threatening, but all fascinating. While a compelling adventure story, this is also a feminist tale upending the myth of mild mannered, compliant women plus a dissection of what is real and what is fake…. and we are not just talking about handbags - highly recommended

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