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The Love Wife

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


From the massively talented Gish Jen comes a barbed, moving, and stylistically dazzling new novel about the elusive nature of kinship. The Wongs describe themselves as a “half half” family, but the actual fractions are more complicated, given Carnegie’s Chinese heritage, his wife Blondie’s WASP background, and the various ethnic permutations of their adopted and biological children. Into this new American family comes a volatile new member.Her name is Lanlan. She is Carnegie’s Mainland Chinese relative, a tough, surprisingly lovely survivor of the Cultural Revolution, who comes courtesy of Carnegie’s mother’s will. Is Lanlan a very good nanny, a heartless climber, or a posthumous gift from a formidable mother who never stopped wanting her son to marry a nice Chinese girl? Rich in insight, buoyed by humor, The Love Wife is a hugely satisfying work.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Sep 01, 2004 – Before Lan, a distant relative, arrived from China, the Wong family knew who they were: father Carnegie; mother Blondie; two adopted Chinese daughters, Lizzie and Wendy; and one biological son, Bailey. Except for baby Bailey, each member takes turns beseeching the listener to understand the Wong family from his or her perspective. It seems fitting that multiple narrators should take turns telling a story that explores the complex frontiers of the modern American family, but their overlapping, interrupting voices create a chaos that, while accurately representing family life, may prove unsettling to listeners. Additionally, interjections like Carnegie's single-line rejoinders to Blondie's laments, or Lizzie's sudden, venomous reactions to Wendy's sweet childhood stories make the characters feel more like disembodied voices than real people. Carnegie and his daughters are given clear voices and appropriate accents, but Blondie's voice sounds strangely exotic and not at all Middle American, as it's supposed be. All in all, though the novel has the makings of an important work of literature, this audio translation may bring listeners more confusion than satisfaction.
The Love Wife
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Sep 14, 2004
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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