Here we are – the finale to this glittering trilogy about people with too much money for their own good and all the drama that ensues. I can’t even say how much of a guilty pleasure ride these novels have been, but what I can say is that, if you are looking for a soap opera of a series to escape into, look no further.
In this final installment, we get a convergence of all our main storylines from the past two books all coming together as Nick’s grandmother, Su Yi, lies on her deathbed. At Rachel’s urging, Nick flies back to Singapore to try and find forgiveness for her before she leaves. Meanwhile, Astrid and Charlie are facing their own problems with mentally ill ex-spouses and complex divorce proceedings. Kitty is still putting all her effort into being the pinnacle of the rich Asian society, yet seems to be butting heads (dramatically) with her new step-daughter at every turn. And we also get some fun side stories from previous favorite characters like Colin and Araminta Khoo, Peik Lin, and Rachel’s newly discovered brother Carlton. With Su Yi’s whole fortune on the line, a family waiting like vultures to snap it all up, and the gossip columnists of the world searching for the next big scandal to break…what could possibly go wrong?
This was exactly the big finish I was looking for out of this series. Entertaining and alluring from start to finish, I sped through this novel. The first story I want to mention is Astrid’s. If you all remember from my last two reviews (Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend), she is absolutely my favorite character and I so badly wanted a happy ending for her. Although she ends up dealing with a lot in this novel (like, more scandals than any one person reasonably should) and I was definitely worried at a few points for her, I really liked where she ended up. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but honestly, I think it was even better. In regards to our original leading couple, Nick and Rachel stayed cute, if kind of unbelievably/excessively so (at least with each other, haha). And I was definitely invested in their efforts to save Tyersall Park. In fact, I do wish a little more time had been spent on the content of the letters Su Yi left to Nick that allowed him to create his final plans re: Tyersall. Or, alternatively, I would be into reading a spin-off based on them, though it would definitely not be the same kind of light-hearted and ridiculous series this one was. Anyways, I also liked where Kitty ended up, a lot. I know she was probably one of the most annoying characters for me to read throughout the series, but honestly, her character arc was probably one of the most well-developed and nuanced and, in the end, I appreciated her growth and her general role in events quite a bit. I wasn’t sure after book two where she really fit in, to be honest, since she was in no way actually connected to the rest of the families/characters in play…but I see it now and I like it. And, while almost too cheesy for words, the little wrap-up chapter at the end, a sort of epilogue for all our favorites new and old, was the perfect ending for this kind of reading experience.
Like I said when this review started, the drama is real from start to finish. The scandals and cattiness and interfering family levels are off the charts, but really that’s what makes this such a fun set of books to read. It’s the perfect escapism literature. And while I loved the movie (and I truly did love it!), I would absolutely be into watching an entire tv series of these books. There is so much potential to take things farther than the books did, so much entertainment possibility…I almost can’t even. I was never a soap opera person, but after seeing what was possible for a “new age” soap opera with Jane the Virgin, all I can say is that I’d be the first person to watch a similar type show based on these novels – do you hear me, tv producers?! Haha. Anyways, I clearly recommend these books – go pick them up and have a blast reading them!