by Kevin Kwan
“You’re my son—I’ve watched your nannies change your diapers,”
“Maybe if Mum behaves herself, she can meet our baby at age eighteen.”
This was a worthy conclusion to the trilogy in many ways. I’m so glad Astrid and Nick’s final meeting with Ah Ma went so well and they were on time. Loved the reading of the will. I was on the edge of my seat. Eddie’s meltdown after he only got a set of cuff-links was a fitting close to his story. I Loved Ah Ma’s wisdom and cleverness in her terms of the will. I was fascinated by the glimpses into Su Yi’s bravery and importance in WWII. We knew James Young was a great man from the first book, now we know his greatness was matched by his wife. I’d read that book! Characters we thought we knew turned out to be more complex than we may have thought. In good ways and bad ways. I liked the hints of mysteries and secrets and the final reveals. I thought that seeing the family from the servant’s perspective was a good addition. I liked that Ah Ma’s death was in the middle of the book, instead of the end. I liked that non-obvious choice. It made me anxious and curious to read what else was to come.
There are reasons why this didn’t quite make 5 stars, like the other two. I felt that the fate of Collette Bing was contrived, weak, and tacked on. I would have liked a confrontation between her and Kitty. Or her bad end to be a result of her bad actions. I was confused by Collette. We know that she is still the mean schemer when it came to Carlton anyway. But what about her nice husband, and the orangutans? Was that sincere? What happened to Carlton and Rachel’s father? No appearance at all? I was sure he was going to be instrumental in helping Nick and Rachel with Tyersall Park. It would have only made sense. Carlton’s reconciliation with Scheherazade was too easy, considering what she learned about his past. Although most the characters were disposed of in a satisfactory way, in many cases it was a little too pat. I didn’t mind the unconcluded stories in the first two, but I hoped that the 3rd one would have been stronger in the wrap up. **4.5 stars**
December 17, 2018