So I reviewed and loved the first one, was supremely let down by the second, and came into the third with low expectations and hey, it surpassed them! In my head, it went down like this – Crazy Rich Asians was a blockbuster success, so the publishers jumped on Kwan to write more. China Rich Girlfriend was his initial “wtf fine fine fine!” with all the prep and consideration that allowed but he had that plus more time to get Rich People Problems done. And maybe it was the low expectations, but this one felt just as much fun as the first, with some of the unfortunate manufactured conflict of the second.
(yes, I know, they’re novels, all conflict therein is by definition manufactured, but you know what I mean)
In RPC, the drama at the center of it all is once again the grandmother, Su Yi, but this time she’s not being awful to the common folk. She’s actually had a massive heart attack and likely has weeks left, so cue the whole family rushing to her side – some to genuinely mourn, and some to jostle for position in the inheritance of her magnificent home, Tyersall Park. There’s A, B, and C story drama (Astrid, who so many of us love, features prominently) and there’s rich people throwing expensive temper tantrums all over the place. You know, the usual. I think this book partly wins because it leans into Eddie as the bad guy you both pity because he’s so clueless and utterly loathe because he’s had a lifetime of privilege in which to get a damn clue.
Anyway, overall, a pretty satisfying wrap up to the series. Plus they finally introduce Oliver, who was such a delightful part of the movie! Peik Lin as written never reaches her Awkwafina heights.