For my novels class we have to read a lot of books. The one we recently read was called Free Food for Millionaires, a debut novel by Min Jin Lee. It was a pretty interesting book, but a little soap-opera like. The book follows Casey Han, a Korean-American, over the course of five years in New York City from 1993 to 1998. She is the main character of the book, but the story is also told through many other characters who she comes in contact with. I think Casey makes a lot of irrational decisions and it can be a frustrating read sometimes because of how foolish she acts. Then again, I guess everyone makes irrational decisions in life and perhaps that is what the author wanted to say.
This book is mostly about relationships. It has a lot of drama and a lot of very well developed characters with complicated back stories, but the “actual” plot could be explained in a few pages. This book is mostly about characters and their day-to-day lives.
The characters are deep and interesting. However, the characters seem to always be able to perfectly articulate whatever is on their mind to each other, which – while adds to the drama – seems unrealistic. I don’t think I’ve read a book with more sobbing females. Someone cries every 10 pages (I doubt that’s an exaggeration). I did enjoy this book, I thought there were a lot of interesting moments. I really enjoyed that Lee gives the reader perspective from all sides of the story. Each character has their own thoughts and she always gives the reader a window into them. I do recommend this book, I just think that the conversations between characters are unrealistic and over-emotional. Despite that flaw, the writing is very good. It’s hard to believe it’s a debut novel.
If character-driven stories and drama are something you’re into then you’d probably enjoy Free Food for Millionaires.