Jennifer Reese
September 17, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Love Wife

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Gish Jen
publisher
Knopf
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

Carnegie and Blondie Wong have a house in the suburbs, three children, and a problem: Lan, a relative of Carnegie’s, has arrived from China. Seductive, elegant, and enigmatic, Lan bewitches the kids and makes Carnegie wonder if he’s ever really been happy with his easygoing Caucasian wife (who clearly never saw The Hand That Rocks the Cradle). The first half of The Love Wife crackles with mounting dramatic and sexual tension, but Jen never resolves the crisis she sets up so exquisitely. Instead, Wife unravels with extraneous characters and violent, implausible plot twists.

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