Book review: Free Food for Millionaires (Min Jin Lee)

Available at Exclusive Books and all good bookstores.

As I’ve said before, I’m not a book buyer. Reviewers (and Kindle owners) seldom are. But this book was on sale. And the title intrigued me. So I did what we’re never supposed to do, and I bought it largely based on the cover. Lucky me.

Free Food for Millionaires has been positioned as a potential ‘Great American Novel’ which is, um, a little out there – but it is a super read. Have a go at the first bit of the blurb, and you’ll see what I mean:

“Casey Han’s years at Princeton have given her ‘a refined diction, an enviable golf handicap, wealthy friends, a popular white boyfriend, and a magna cum laude degree in economics’. But no job, and a number of bad habits.”

And it gets better from there. Casey Han is fabulous – a gal with a designer lifestyle she can’t possibly afford, a knack for choosing the right friends and the wrong men, and a spectacular taste in and addiction to beautiful hats. Hats?! I ask you.

She’s also trying to make it in high finance, from the bottom up, while dragging behind her all of the fundamental crises of immigrants’ children, class struggle, social status and, yes, love.

All this, against the backdrop of Nineties New York. Read it.

P.S. I realise that the hats and clothing and man drama collaborate to make this book sound alarmingly like chick lit, which I unreservedly and unapologetically despise, but I promise it isn’t. Vaguely. Even a little bit.