A lively tale about an Irish-American lass from South Boston who marries the heir to Chinese billions.
Not that Beth Connor was ever your basic “Southie” girl next door. Hardly. An Olympic distance runner, she was already something of a celebrity when she fell in love with Harvard classmate Michael Chang. Then it was off to Hong Kong, where the perils awaiting her rivaled the storied Pauline’s (see Luk’s China Bride, 1998), but Beth—unflappable, unstoppable, indomitable (and only 21)—cut them down to manageable size. Now, in the weeks before the Hong Kong handover, we find her dealing with the subtleties involved in becoming “Chinesed.” She’s also dealing with the piggybacked subtleties derived from becoming a Chang. Her envious sisters-in-law hate her, her wastrel brother-in-law distrusts her, and her enigmatic mother-in-law is ever watchful, apparently hoping for some irreparable “mistake.” Big, bosomy, and flamboyantly blond she may be, but Beth is nobody’s stereotype. She hangs tough, earns the affection of Chang Wing Hing, the patriarch, and soon enough she’s learned enough about the far-flung Chang holdings to become a useful businesswoman. Beth’s troubles, however, transcend the familial and even the cultural. There’s murder, for instance, not to mention the unsettling fact that her own husband, less the paragon than he appeared while courting, might be the perp. Strangest of all is the matter of Peter Lau, a most attractive and determined would-be lover. In ways that are consistently amusing—though perhaps not as consistently believable—Beth copes. Which, at curtain, is how we leave her, taking on all comers and ready for what must certainly be, at least in the planning stage, the saga’s third installment.
Not polished, not to be taken seriously, but a sexy, briskly paced entertainment. Beth is a swashbuckler.