The magic mind behind the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy is back with a modern day retelling of A Room with a View that starts out in Capri, winds its way through the Hamptons and culminates on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Described by the publisher as a glittering tale of love and longing, I would add that it's a titanium coated scrutiny of isms: classism, elitism, ageism, sexism, and racism set with sapphires, diamonds and emeralds the size of goose eggs, served up with Peking duck and a side of dumplings. The cars, clothing, jewelry, food and wine in Kevin Kwan's novels are otherworldly. But I digress.
The novel starts off with an outrageously romantic international wedding celebration that lasts almost a week and brings together fabulously gorgeous and wealthy people to bask in the love, sunshine, and cerulean blue sea of Capri. Two of the youngest and most beautiful wedding guests, Lucie Churchill and George Zao, are caught up in an intense attraction that overwhelms them both. Are they caught up in the wedding festivities or is their connection precious and rare? It's hard to know what's for real or meant to be when you're young but Lucie and George continue to cross paths over the years in unexpected ways. It turns out that the circle of elite rich is not that large and you're bound to meet up on NYC's 5th Avenue or in the Hamptons at some point!
This brings us to the Hamptons, a summer haven for America's elite filled with high-end shopping, restaurants, yacht clubs and beaches. Many of the characters of the novel have summer homes or week-end residences here and meet up at a popular fictional Hamptons institution called The Preppy Guru Lounge that offers exercise and meditation classes as well as puppy yoga. PUPPY YOGA. This is a real thing and I have a new obsession. Who cares about true love and soul mates when a warm, bouncing, playful puppy is crawling all over you? Thank you, Kevin Kwan! This is exactly what my COVID-19 summer reading needed!