Brilliantly plotted and written, utterly absorbing, often heartbreaking, The Expatriates looks set to be one of the books of the year
Offers sharp insights into the tensions between moneyed expats and the impoverished locals who serve them
I raced through this enthralling story of three very different American women living in the same small expat community in Hong Kong. One devastating moment has irreversible consequences for all three. I kept saying 'no, no, no' as I read the description of that moment. My husband said, 'What?' - and I said, 'Be quiet. Let me read.'
Powerful [and] nuanced . . . poignant and compelling . . . The Expatriates moves with urgency, but also takes time to slowly reveal a complex story. Lee's storytelling is intricate, precise and rich enough to keep the reader seduced until the end
Beautiful and heartbreaking
Lee has written a book that manages to shine a penetrating light on both the ups and downs of the expat experience and the resilience of human spirit...A perceptive and compelling tale. By laying bare three lives and dishing out a series of hard knocks, Janice Lee expertly demonstrates how "small decisions lead to big effects"
We imagine we know these [expatriate] women, who are distanced from their work, friends, and family, but we don't. Janice Y. K. Lee does. Set in Hong Kong, The Expatriates looks inside the lives of three women . . . all in crisis, all needing one another in ways they, and we, can't imagine
A remarkably touching and quite, quite beautiful read. Set in Hong Kong, the prologue is teeming with people making their way to this remarkable city...Janice Y. K. Lee writes with an exquisite, startling intensity...There is a real depth and energy to the writing, yet the thread of compassion that weaves through the pages ensures a delicate balance. The Expatriates' is wonderfully fascinating, compelling and profound, and I absolutely loved it
One chief pleasure of The Expatriates is watching how the lives of Hilary, Mercy and Margaret converge and are changed by that convergence, and how they each metabolize grief. A more subtle yet lingering benefit is getting to know Lee's acutely observed Hong Kong, a city on the cusp of change that must eventually affect the lives of expatriates and locals alike
Janice Y. K. Lee nails family drama and gentrified Hong Kong
A novel about displacement and belonging . . . A thoughtful portrait of motherhood trade-offs, the book also offers sharp insights into the tensions between moneyed expats and the impoverished locals who serve them
An emotionally gripping page-turner
A female, funny Henry James in Asia, Janice Y. K. Lee is vividly good on the subject of Americans abroad...vibrant social satire: Inside these dark materials lies the sharpness of a comic novelist, and Lee's eye for the nuance and clash of culture, class, race and sex is subtle and shrewd
We found ourselves racing through this exotic, sexy, heartbreaking book. . . . We couldn't wait to find out what happens to each of the women
Lee excels at conveying the claustrophobic atmosphere of expat life. Despite their various degrees of privilege and wealth, Hilary, Margaret and Mercy are all forced to operate within a tight framework of expectations. . . shrewd and moving
Irresistible . . . Lee's wizardry is her ability to whip drama, pathos and humor into a scrumptious page-turning blend.