Gish Jen’s "The Love Wife" is a novel based on the multicultural American family and the issues it arises. We meet the Wong family: Carnegie the father, Blondie the mother, Lizzy their rebellious adoptive daughter, Wendy their shy adoptive daughter, and Bailey their biological son. Carnegie, Lizzy, and Wendy are all of Asian descent and Blondie Caucasian with bright blonde hair and blue eyes. Together, they are a family.
The story opens with the expected arrival of one of Carn ...more
The Love wife by Gish Jen published by Vintage Contemporaries in 2005
This book tells the story of a nontraditional American family and how they deal with not only the idiosyncrasies found in any family’s make up, but with the specific difficulties faced by an interracial couple made up of Asian American Carnegie and European American Jane, better known as Blondie. Their family is made up of their one biological baby Bailey and two adopted, Asian daughters Wendy and Lizzy, as wel ...more
Extremely enjoyable read! I really like how the story is narrated by all 5 main characters. It gives you a glimpse into each person's perspective on the overall storyline in a pretty quick paced manner.
“The Love Wife,” by Gish Jen (Knopf, 2004; audiobook, read by various narrators). A wonderful book, complex, multi-layered, funny, melancholy, acute. Chinese-American Carnegie Wong is married to WASP Jane Bailey (called Blondie by his demanding, commanding Chinese mother). They have two adopted Asian daughters, teenage Lilly (from China) and 8-year-old Wendy (ancestry not clear), and one natural-born son, Bailey. Mama Wong hates Blondie, and arranges for the family to bring a Chinese woman named ...more
So I can't speak to that confusion. I got who was speaking and when he or she was speaking as the actors changed roles. The actor who portrayed Carnegie was wonderful, his version of Mama Wong so thoughtful and well done.
But as for the story-- ...more
Narrator: Linda Stephens, Ken Leung, Nancy Wu, and more
Publisher: Recorded Books, 2004
Length: 15 hours and 34 min.
Critically acclaimed author Gish Jen is a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee and the person John Updike proclaimed as the young novelist most likely to become his successor. In The Love Wife, Jen poignantly explores the explosive dynamics of a mixed-race modern family.
Chinese-American Carnegie Wong and his Waspy wife Blondie have ...more
Carnegie Wong is a Chinese-American man married to Blondie, an extremely white yet Chinese-speaking woman. Carnegie's Chinese mama does not approve, even after the couple adopts two Chinese children. After Mama Wong's death, they discover that in her will, she has left the an ...more
I will say that I would not have kept reading it past the first few chapters if I hadn't switched to audio book as the dialogue is different than normal. It was also more entertaining now that I heard a Chinese accent for Mama Wong and a heavy but formal dialect for Lin.
The characters were unbalanced yet entertaining (Lizzy and Wendy were typical teenagers and Jen did a good job of putting in li ...more
I found myself asking, whos book is this? who is the main character?
This book is structured around those questions, the battle of two women who do n ...more
Jen's third novel (Typical American, Mona in the Promised Land) draws a wide range of opinions, from the glowing to the bitter. One common thread is appreciation for Jen's prose, although it plays like a safety valve in the negative reviews, as if the writers had to find something to like. The multiple first-person narrators provide perspective and richness, as does Jen's bighearted insight into the cultural divide. Yet, even the positive reviews struggle to reconcile the first two thirds of the...more
A problem with the style was that the writing never lets go of the character's existential problems. Their multi-cultural status and their blended family takes up all the space! Even though characters do notice flowers, s ...more
I like the meditations on what it means to be American or Chinese, and and how do we make our place in the world in a way that's recognizable not only to ourselves but to our loved ones.
But the last third of the book! Wh ...more
I enjoyed the character building and found the story interesting,though perhaps a bit disjointed. I didn’t like Lan in the least. I always get disgusted with stories where perfectly go ...more