26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A Good Read, but not quite Great,
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This review is from: Free Food for Millionaires (Hardcover)
Free Food for Millionaires is an excellent novel about a young, bright daughter of immigrant parents, Casey, a young woman full of potential, just graduated from Princeton in the mid-1990s. She has everything, or seems to, but can't quite realize the value in what she has. Min Jin Lee does an excellent job of conveying the New York City of the oversmart and overprivileged of that time. The title, "Free Food for Millionaires", is a reference to the free lunch provided periodically at an investment bank during that time. It's a perfect summary of the worlds Casey lives in--the striving world of her parents and the overprivileged one of her Princeton classmates, where peoples needs and wants are seemingly either denied and oversupplied. Happiness is never full--something is always missing. That lack of perfection makes this a strong novel. Lee does some interesting things with her characters--they and their stories take some unexpected turns. The novel ultimately lacks that special something to make it great--nothing compels the reader to keep reading. Casey herself, while her story is intersting, is a bit of a cold fish. The novel is intelligently written but Han jumps from one character's perspective to another, sometimes within the same paragraph, which makes the narrative a bit jumpy at times. Overall, though, this is an enjoyable read, full of flawed and human characters. This one would probably be a perfect book club read--it will give readers much to discuss.