Author: Susie Yang
Genre: Literary Mystery
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: November 3, 2020
Book Description: From prizewinning Chinese American author Susie Yang, this dazzling coming-of-age novel about a young woman’s dark obsession with her privileged classmate offers sharp insights into the immigrant experience.
Ivy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her.
Raised outside of Boston, Ivy’s immigrant grandmother relies on Ivy’s mild appearance for cover as she teaches her granddaughter how to pilfer items from yard sales and second-hand shops. Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and, most importantly, to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer, the golden boy of a wealthy political family. But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses, punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China, and her dream instantly evaporates.
Years later, Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman, haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family. Back in Boston, when Ivy bumps into Sylvia Speyer, Gideon’s sister, a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fate.
Slowly, Ivy sinks her claws into Gideon and the entire Speyer clan by attending fancy dinners, and weekend getaways to the cape. But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted, a ghost from her past resurfaces, threatening the nearly perfect life she’s worked so hard to build.
Filled with surprising twists and a nuanced exploration of class and race, White Ivy is a glimpse into the dark side of a woman who yearns for success at any cost.
Rating: 3 Stars
Review: This book is getting so much hype as a must read debut novel. While it had elements that were definitely intriguing, I am not sure all the glowing reviews are deserved.
Ivy Lin is our protagonist, born in China, moved to US and then was sent back to China after some bad habits that she picked up came to light. She eventually comes back to the US where on a chance meeting she reconnects with Gideon her school crush. Their relationship eventually grows into a romantic one.
This book has some twists and turns, and a few surprises, but that is expected. What the author does a fair job of doing is bringing the underlying concept of race and class, which I think makes for great discussions.
This debut is good, but what I am really looking forward to is the possibility of her next book. Yang is talented and I definitely what to read more from her.
Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.