Women of Good Fortune

Sophie Wan's Women of Good Fortune recalls the extravagant wedding fanfare of Crazy Rich Asians and the minute-by-minute scheming of Ocean's Eleven in an elaborate heist novel featuring a reluctant bride turned reluctant thief as she plans to rob her own wedding.

According to her mother, Lulu is a "leftover woman," unmarried in her late 20s and with no relationship in sight. But when a short romance turns into an unexpected engagement to one of the richest bachelors in Shanghai, Lulu finds herself caught up in planning an over-the-top wedding to a man she doesn't love with a future mother-in-law she absolutely despises. Her two best friends are no happier, despite their different circumstances: Rina works grueling hours to save up enough money to freeze her eggs, and Jane is dissatisfied with her appearance and married to a frugal man who pays her no attention. All three are stuck, confined not only by the expectations placed upon them by Chinese society and their well-intentioned families, but by the money required to chart their own paths in life. With a combination of audacity and desperation, the three decide to steal the cash gifts from the center of Lulu's upcoming wedding. "We're going to make this wedding our bitch," Jane says to her friends. "And I have just the plan."

That plan forms the core of Women of Good Fortune, and the story's urgency will keep readers captivated. But it is what these women learn along the way--about themselves and about one another--that gives the novel its heart, as the three must reconsider what happiness might actually look like, money or no. --Kerry McHugh, freelance writer

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