Sex and Vanity
by Kwan, Kevin

When George, the man with whom she had brief fling several years earlier, unexpectedly appears in East Hampton, newly engaged Lucie Churchill is drawn to him again and spins a web of deceit in an attempt to block him from her life - and her heart.

KEVIN KWAN is the author of the international bestsellers Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems. Crazy Rich Asians was a #1 New York Times bestseller, a major motion picture, and has been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in Los Angeles and is trying to eat less pasta.

Lucie Tang Churchill is a stylish but naive biracial 19-year-old, accompanied to an extravagantly fabulous wedding on Capri by her middle-aged cousin, Charlotte, who is obsessed with ensuring that the nouveau riche display the proper reverence for the from-the-Mayflower side of the family. They encounter the bombastically generous Rosemary Zao and her handsome, intense son, George, whom Lucie immediately dislikes-until she doesn't-but then a potential scandal tears them apart. Five years later, Lucie is an in-demand art dealer, engaged to the billennial (billionaire millennial) Cecil Pike, and very happy, until George (and his mother) reenters her social circle. The plot is perhaps not the most important element for Kwan's (Crazy Rich Asians, 2013) fans, who most love his over-the-top characters, ridiculously lavish details, and catty, fourth-wall-breaking narration, all of which are gloriously represented here; there are jewels galore, and a West Village apartment with an indoor canal and gondoliers on retainer. Lucie's story also touches on racism, both external (and familial) and internalized, as she fights her attraction to George. The resolution adds another satisfying layer to this frothy, escapist delight. HIGH DEMAND BACKSTORY: Kwan's first outing since the Crazy Rich Asians series, which begat a huge movie in 2018, arrives just in time for summer reading. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

True love will find a way, even among the status-obsessed and filthy rich. There are few authors who could pull off wealth porn in the current cultural moment—perhaps only one. Kwan, author of the insanely popular Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, again manages to enchant, though this is crazy and rich without the Asian locales, food, and other cultural details. While the locations of this book—the isle of Capri and the Hamptons—are certainly glamorous and full of rich people, they are no Singapore or Hong Kong. Kwan overcomes that with his irresistibly knowing humor and delightful central characters. Lucie Tang Churchill ("92nd St. Y Nursery School / Brearley / Brown"; the educational resume of every character is provided like this) is Chinese American, and her love interest, George Zao, is "a Chinese boy from Hong Kong who had spent a few years in Australia," leaving him with an Aussie accent and a surfboard. They meet and become aware of their furious vibrational connection at an over-the-top wedding on Capri—but a complete disas ter intervenes to keep them apart. Well, not a disaster disaster, more of a public relations disaster. It involves drones. Next thing we know, Lucie is engaged to a simply awful, nouveau riche, social media–obsessed white boy named Cecil Pike, who has somehow been pronounced by Esquire "The Most Desired Dude on the Planet." A faithful Kwan-ite will see poor Cecil immediately for the plot device he is: "The Obstacle," who drives a Meteor over Fountain Blue Bentley Mulsanne and wears bespoke Corthay "Cannes" suede loafers. While he's engineering the timeless love story and continuing our postgraduate education in all the things money can buy, Kwan manages to take a few swipes against snobbery and racism. Nice. This is the only way you're getting to Capri this year. Why resist? Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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