Sex And Vanity

Sex And Vanity

A Novel

Book - 2020/07
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The iconic author of the bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians returns with a glittering tale of love and longing as a young woman finds herself torn between two worlds--the WASP establishment of her father's family and George Zao, a man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with.

On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can't stand him. She can't stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have the view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can't stand that he knows more about Curzio Malaparte than she does, and she really can't stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa and they are caught by her snobbish, disapproving cousin, Charlotte. "Your mother is Chinese so it's no surprise you'd be attracted to someone like him," Charlotte teases. Daughter of an American-born-Chinese mother and blue-blooded New York father, Lucie has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side, and she adamantly denies having feelings for George. But several years later, when George unexpectedly appears in East Hampton where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to George again. Soon, Lucy is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment, and ultimately herself as she tries mightily to deny George entry into her world--and her heart. Moving between summer playgrounds of privilege, peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion, Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story, a daring homage to A Room with a View, and a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures.
Publisher: Random House 2020/07
ISBN: 9780385546362
038554636X
Branch Call Number: ON ORDER

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k
kwsmith
Sep 28, 2020

I thought the three "Crazy Rich Asians" books were brilliant romantic comedy gold. Unfortunately, this new book by Kevin Kwan is good, but not as golden. I'm not certain if Kwan simply ran out of ideas or if he wanted to try a cute literary experiment; however, the fact remains that this book is a character-for-character and scene-for-scene copy of E.M. Forester's more famous romantic comedy "A Room with a View." I found the principle characters, Lucie (Forester's Lucy) and George (Forester's George), mostly dull and flat. Still, I enjoyed Kwan's trademark subtle skewering of modern rich culture and his lavish descriptions of exotic weddings and chic designer fashions that I'll never be able to afford. The last half of the book is much better than the first half.

t
TheManRetired
Sep 25, 2020

On Hold

k
kiml00
Sep 19, 2020

This is a light hearted quick read. I was in a very dark mood and didn’t even enjoy reading when I started this book. It really helped lifted my mood with its silly outrageous characters. There’s some drama (why wouldn’t there be? It’s about rich people who tried to impress each other) but not a lot of stressful tensions (I have enough stress in real life and does not need to add more anxiety from reading fiction stories). There’s a little bit of a theme about cultural clash between the West and the East and finding oneself but nothing too heavy. The references to Hong Kong celebrities in the 90s brought back some good memories. I did have to use google quite a bit as I’ve never been to the places or heard of some the names that were mentioned in the book (poor me -pun intended-as I can’t afford to visit or own anything from these places/people). I really enjoyed it and it was a fun read.

w
writermala
Aug 13, 2020

Did you like "Crazy Rich Asians?" Well, this is more of the same - a lot more. (Over 300 pages of 'Crazy' rich Asians.) I liked the character of Lucie and maybe even George but the supporting cast was meh. The romance proceeded exactly as expected. My only complaint about the book is that it was way too long. I wish it had been, say, 250 pages. It would have been just right. I'm sure Kevin Kwan is not your average author who needs his publisher to pay by the word.

LoganLib_Kirra Aug 06, 2020

This book was so cute, from the start I was swept up in their glamour and I fell instantly in love with Lucie and George’s chemistry. I really wanted to see Lucie embrace both sides of her heritage in this book and follow her heart over trying to suppress it and how she feels. Overall, this book seemed to fly by and it took me no time at all to read. There was romance, hilarity, drama, and big-money moves. It was another enjoyable and hearty read from Kevin Kwan.

r
retiredtoread
Jul 08, 2020

Love this author - have read all his books.

d
darladoodles
Jun 23, 2020

Full disclosure: I have not read "A Room With a View," but I have read the Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy and I believe this new standalone from Kevin Kwan is as good or better than CRA. The dynamics of race and privilege are approached from sites in the Western Hemisphere giving new dimensions to explore. Lucie and George are both likable characters. The scene in which George recites the title of the book was hands down my favorite emotional moment. There were many other tongue in cheek moments along the way as well as jaw-dropping descriptions of events and locations (most in Capri). It felt like I went on vacation and watched a rom-com all in one.

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