Monday, June 27, 2022

Counterfeit - Kirstin Chen

I've been hearing really good things about Kirstin Chen's new novel, Counterfeit. I happily earmarked  for my summer listening list.

"Ava Wong has always played it safe. As a strait-laced, rule-abiding Chinese American lawyer with a successful surgeon as a husband, a young son, and a beautiful home - she’s built the perfect life."

Uh huh, it looks like the perfect life, but from the inside looking out - not so much. When Winnie Fang, an old schoolfriend, gets in touch, Ava gets caught up in her business. What business you ask? Counterfeit high end handbags. 

Now, I must admit, luxury, 'big name' purses and bags are not something I would want or pursue. I found Chen's descriptions of those that do and the manufacturing of legit and not so legit bags quite fascinating. (And sit peaks to consumerism in a big way)

We meet Ava in part one of the book as she is recounting her story to a police detective. So, from that we know that something has gone wrong in 'the business'. I've gotta say it - I wasn't sure how I felt about Ava. She's unhappy with her husband. Her young son is a bit of a challenge, but it is the nanny who can calm him best. She's is still trying to live up to her family's expectations, even though she is in her thirties. In part two, we get to know Winnie a bit better as she is given a voice. She's a skilled manipulator and a clever thief. I'm going to leave things there to avoid spoilers. Except...the ending isn't quite what I had predicted!

That being said, there are some themes woven in the story as well - racism, cultural, social strata, parenthood, marriage and more. 

I chose to listen to Counterfeit. The narrator is award winning Catherine Ho. She's got a pleasant, modulated voice that's easy on the ears. She speaks clearly and at a good speed.  Discernable voices for each lead character were used. She interprets and presents Chen's work very well. Emotions, situations and actions are brought to life with her voice matching what's happening in the book. Counterfeit is a great summer, beach worthy listen. Hear for yourself - listen to an audiobook excerpt of Counterfeit.


Ethan said...

I've been hearing great things about this one too. Glad to read that you enjoyed it!

Luanne said...

Thanks Ethan!