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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
Lee has created multi-faceted and deep characters that kept me vested in the story.
I felt like it wasn't really going anywhere, and character after character was getting introduced without holding my interest too well.
One even made me quite angry - a fun and unexpected emotion to experience in response to a character's behaviors!
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 4 hours ago by Clif
Didn't care for this book AT ALL. The dialogue was clunky and awkward. The main character was not only unsympathetic, she was difficult to connect with on any level. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Maureen Paraventi
Several years ago, I found Min Jin Lee's novel, Free Food for Millionaires on the bargain table at Barnes and Noble. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Karen Lea Hansen
Thought I'd made a mistake buying by the title; East Coast schools, lunch clubs, career dependent on where you ate? Read morePublished 7 months ago by Rural Gal
I grew up reading all the time. Growing up with the Boxcar children, the Little House on the Prarie, the Indian in the Cupboard, Beloved, To Kill a Mockingbird, I felt the dearth... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Yoon Kim
This was Min Jin Lee's debut novel, Free Food for Millionaires which was written in 2008.
I wouldn't say that I judge a book by its cover or title, but I do look at how these... Read more
Just the subject alone was engaging. I was so interested to read something concerning North Koreans.
It was really well written. Read more
Interesting book. Excited to go to my first book club meeting to discuss!! I'll write my thoughts after the meetingPublished 13 months ago by Runner Girl
Interesting take on Korean family culture in New York and generational tensions. Characters well drawn, novel is quite well written.Published 14 months ago by Carole Roncaioli