Kwan, Kevin. Rich People Problems. New York: Doubleday, 2017.
Hardcover | $27.95 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0385542234 | 398 pages | Multicultural/Contemporary
Rich People Problems is my favorite of the “Crazy Rich Asians” trilogy, because of the depth and growth to this fun cast of characters. Like the previous installments, it is as funny and catty as ever between the various people in this elite club of the crazy rich, but along with that, I loved seeing the nuances to them.
One of my favorite characters is, surprisingly, Shang Su Yi, Nicholas’s grandmother. The drama surrounding her last days among the living and the revelations it brings led me to see her and her relationships with different family members in a completely new light, especially concerning the cold way she acted toward Rachel in the first book. In her youth, she was passionate and brave, but did not have the same opportunities concerning her love life that Nick and Rachel, and some of the other characters did, making her story somewhat cliche, but bittersweet all the same.
In relation to that, I loved being on the journey with Nick, first to repair the breach between himself and Su Yi, and later to preserve the legacy of Tyersall Park, even against tremendous odds. It was beautiful to see him persevere in this, due first to his own personal connection to the place, and later, the discovery of Tyersall Park’s deeper historical relevance to the public.
I was, of course, finally satisfied to see things work out for Astrid and Charlie, although the road was not without domestic disputes. I love the way their arc built up the trajectory of them being faced with both of their revenge-seeking exes. And the way the arcs concluded for other recurring major characters, like Edddie Cheng and Kitty Pong-Tai-Bing had me oddly satisfied, given the ambivalent feelings occasionally verging on annoyance I felt throughout reading the book.
This whole series is a treat to read, and I would recommend it to fans of domestic dramas and romantic comedies.