The Love Wife

  • by Gish Jen
  • Narrated by Linda Stephens, Ken Leung, Nancy Wu
  • 15 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Critically acclaimed author Gish Jen is a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee and the person John Updike proclaimed as the young novelist most likely to become his successor. In The Love Wife, Jen poignantly explores the explosive dynamics of a mixed-race modern family.Chinese-American Carnegie Wong and his Waspy wife Blondie have two adopted children of Asian descent, Lilly and Wendy. The girls are a handful, but they are nothing compared to Carnegie's mother. Mama Wong's dislike for Blondie is relentless, so much so that she introduces a Chinese woman named Lan to the household. When Lilly and Wendy begin to favor Lan over their white mother, Blondie clings ever more tightly to her biological son, Bailey.
A powerful novel peppered with humor, The Love Wife is absolutely riveting from the first word to the last. The vocal talents of a highly-skilled, award-winning group of narrators make for an exquisite audio production.


What the Critics Say

"Jen captures the not always likable Wong family with her trademark compassion, laser-like attention to detail, and quirky wit....This novel has a robust, lived-in quality that makes you miss it when it's over." (Publishers Weekly)
"A vibrant work notable for its unusual and arresting dialogue-saturated style....A smart, piquant, and far-reaching tragicomedy." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

really special book

Apparently this book is all dialogue, so it makes a great audiobook. It is read by several readers and they are all wonderful. The Chinese matriarch is outspoken and says what she thinks, the teen Lizzy does too. You hear from each character in turn throughout the book and the characterizations are all very good. The Chinese way of thinking is portrayed very well. A long book and full of surprises, I really enjoyed it very much.
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- Cynthia

good story, well narrated

It's been a long time since I found an audio book I enjoyed. This one was not GREAT, but was good enough. I thought the use of multiple readers was very effective, since much of the book was written as monologues by the different characters. It might have been confusing if only one reader had been used.

One thing that irks me in current language in general is the overuse of certain words, and the author is guilty of that. The one that bugs me the most - "amazing" - in particular. How can THAT many things really be amazing?! But perhaps she was just using the vernacular of young girls. It's just my hot button, though, and shouldn't deter anyone from choosing this book. All in all, I'd rate it credit-worthy.
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- Lily

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-01-2004
  • Publisher: Recorded Books