Review: Woman of a Hundred Names by Jose Sevilla Ho
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Adopted from a Chinese orphanage in infancy, Melanie Brooks knows little about China. Until Englishman Bernard Mason accosts her with photos of a missing Hong Kong heiress, Julia Tang, whose resemblance to Melanie is astounding.
The heiress is key to a billion – dollar conglomerate that’s been haemorrhaging money since the death of tycoon Arthur Tang, Julia’s father. As Arthur’s former aide, Mason knows everything about Julia, right down to her handwriting, and coaches Melanie on how she can replace her. After weeks of briefings, a discreet call is made that Julia Tang has been “found”.
Melanie arrives in Hong Kong to resume the interrupted life of the missing heiress. The fairy tale quickly shows its ugly side, and Melanie understands why many suspect Julia Tang of faking her own death. Finding the truth about Julia is now crucial to Melanie’s survival. The adventure teaches her why Arthur Tang espoused the old Chinese saying: “Those who mount a tiger can never dismount.”
A gripping book that draws you in from the very first page. After reading Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, I honestly was very intrigued by the lifestyle of the rich Asian crowd – living in the former colonies with some ominous connect to China. China; like the scarily present foster mother who doesn’t want to draw her claws out of you.
This genre is clearly more vast than I thought and for some reason, it is very intriguing to me.
This book is very fast paced and precise, I could find very few plotholes and none of those were glaringly incorrect.
Essentially what I am trying to say is that there was not one mistake in this book which would bring about a logical fallacy, mess up the storyline adversely, or affect how deeply involved you get in this story. Because you definitely would be. It is a fabulous book and it is definitely worth reading.
There are large families, weird interpersonal relationships, ostensibly caring people but maybe not, a huge company that has figured out how to run on its own, people who do not argue out of respect even though it would be preferable to do so – so many instances that combine the deep filial piety and familial respect ingrained in Asians, clearly contrasted with deep rooted ploys that only have wispy tendrils come to the surface; ugly tendrils of reality that are often quickly covered with shiny untruths.
It is as much a lesson in human relationships and emotional turmoil as it is about political agendas, commercial requirements, jealousy and compassion in equal measure.
Absolutely must read.
*A review copy was provided to me in exchange for an honest review*
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