Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Week's Read: Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee

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Competence can be a curse.
As a capable young woman, Casey Hahn felt compelled to choose respectability and success. But it was glamour and insight that she craved. A Korean immigrant who'd grown up in a dim, blue-collar neighborhood in Queens, she'd hoped for a bright, glittering life beyond the workhorse struggles of her parents, who managed a Manhattan dry cleaner. 
Free Food for Millionaires
by Min Jin Lee

This author's latest novel, Pachinko (my review), will be one of my favorite novels this year. Last month Lee's debut novel, published ten years ago, was offered as a kindle daily deal. How could I pass it up? The book is long and there's a lot going on but, at the halfway mark, I'm really enjoying it.

Here is a portion of the goodreads summary:
Free Food for Millionaires, the debut novel from Min Jin Lee, takes on daunting themes of love, money, race, and belief systems in this mostly satisfying tale. Casey Han is a Princeton grad, class of '93, and it is her conflicts, relationships, and temperament that inform the novel. She is the child of immigrant Korean parents who work in the same laundry in Queens where they have always worked and are trying hard to hang on to their culture. Casey has catapulted out of that life on scholarships but now that college is over, she hasn't the same opportunities as her white friends, even though she has acquired all of their expensive habits. 
The concept of free food for millionaires is the perfect irony that describes much of what Casey faces. Walter, one of her bosses, says, when a huge buffet lunch is delivered to the floor: "It's free food for millionaires... In the International Equities Department--that is, Asia, Europe, and Japan Sales--the group you're interviewing for--whichever desk that sells a deal buys lunch for everyone in the department."
What do you think? Are you tempted to continue?


First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intro is now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach.

28 comments:

  1. I do like that intro and as I mentioned previously, I gave this one away (unread) so I may need to reconsider.

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    1. Diane - Can't tell you how many times I've done that!

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  2. Definitely tempted by your description! I loved Pachinko. Thanks.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Mae - It quite different from Pachinko, but still very good!

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  3. You give me a compelling reason to add Pachinko to my list!

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  4. Looking forward to Pachinko too.

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    1. Nise' - The audio version of Pachinko is excellent, too.

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  5. Oh, yes, I am intrigued...and I love a new author to enjoy. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - This is definitely an author to add to your list!

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  6. This doesn't sound like a book for me. I'm glad you are enjoying the author's books. This week I have Through the Fire by Katie Ruggle from my review stack. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - It's always exciting to find a new author you enjoy!

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  7. I LOVE Manhattan! Not sure I'd love this book but I would give it a try.

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    1. Vicki - This book is much more contemporary than Pachinko and, as my mother said, a little racy!

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  8. Yes! I loved Pachinko and hope to get to this soon.

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  9. Sounds interesting. I'm glad you are enjoying it. See what we're featuring at Girl Who Reads

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    1. Donna - Books set in NYC appeal to me, and the characters are great in this one!

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  10. That first line is quite thought provoking! This book sounds like one I'd like, but I want to check out Pachinko first. If it was one of your year's favorites, well, I should check it out.

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    1. Margot - Definitely give Pachinko a try first.. hope you love it,too!

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  11. I am not sure about reading this one...it’s not at the library and the Kindle price is back up to $9.99! But I think I need to read Pachinko first!

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    1. Patty - Definitely go for Pachinko first!

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    1. Cleo - It's really a good book... so much going on!

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    1. Harvee - Finished it last night... SO good!!

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  14. definitely want to pick this one up - wish my library had it!

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    1. Lisa - Wish I had the paperback to mail to you. Amazon makes it way too hard to share digital content :(

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