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The concept of free food for millionaires is the perfect irony that describes much of what Casey faces. Walter, one of her bosses, says, when a huge buffet lunch is delivered to the floor: "It's free food for millionaires... In the International Equities Department--that is, Asia, Europe, and Japan Sales--the group you're interviewing for--whichever desk that sells a deal buys lunch for everyone in the department."
Casey is ambivalent about everything--her love life, work, friendships, her family, dating a Korean man--but she seems to believe that money would sort everything out and smooth any rough spots. She works part-time for a fashion maven who would like to "adopt" her by paying for business school, but Casey can't quite accept all that she offers. She pulls back from help, digs herself deeper in debt, works like a slave during an internship and then, when she is offered the job, finally begins to realize what she might really want--and it isn't only money.
There are several loose ends left dangling, some bad behavior toward others on Casey's part and an unlikely and too coincidental passing acquaintance with an old bookseller whose wife was crazy about hats, as is Casey. When he dies, he leaves all her hats to Casey--which just might just be the start of something. The author runs out of steam after 512 pages and ends the book without really finishing it, but it is a thoughtful treatment of many of the questions Lee raises, and an emninently worthwhile debut. --Valerie Ryan
This book brings together issues of race, class, and gender. Min Jin Lee does a great job with character.Published 7 months ago by Mysterylover
Rarely has a narrator been such a detraction from a story as Frasier is in reading Lee's Free Food for Millionaires. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Alison Gardner
I highly recommend this first novel. Dickensian in scope with a soupcon of Tom Wolfe's musculairity, Lee paints a portrait of Manhattan from the immigrant's perspective, primarily... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amy Schroeder
I read this book for the second time, and liked it just as much this time. Don't be turned off by the terrible title...it's no reflection on the content... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Devon M.
This is an epic length novel that's not an epic. It's a portrayal of life within the ambitious and high achieving Korean-American community in New York City during the 1990s. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Clif