Good Fortune by C.K. Chau is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in New York’s Chinatown. Elizabeth Chen spends her time after college either working in her family’s restaurant or at the ramshackle community center.
Her mother is the realtor who has almost completed the sale of the community center to wealthy new owners, including Darcy Wong and Brendan Lee. Elizabeth loves the center and doesn’t want it to become obsolete. Mrs. Chen may seem a little obnoxious to the owners but she’s doing the best to ensure a future for her five daughters.
Elizabeth isn’t totally sure of what she wants to do but she does know that she isn’t going to sell out for a few bucks. She and Darcy have several meetings that don’t go well. Darcy has the wrong idea about Elizabeth and her family. Mrs. Chen doesn’t help the situation. In this retelling, I was less annoyed by Mrs. Chen than Mrs. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. Mrs. Chen has some obvious flaws but the one that actually bothers me is how much she spoils Lydia.
Elizabeth is my favorite character, obviously. She’s independent, intelligent, creative, etc. Of course, she makes mistakes but she is only human. Elizabeth is the underdog but I was rooting for her throughout the book whether she ended up with Darcy or not.
On top of her job at the restaurant, she does her best to keep her younger sisters on the right track. Lydia gives the family a run for their money but doesn’t care if her actions affect anyone else. Although Lydia is only a teenager, she’s the type that would run off to join the circus or take her chances in Hollywood without telling her parents.
Although the story does follow closely with Pride and Prejudice, it is not exactly the same. There are aspects of the Good Fortune that deal with racism and cultural identity. Sometimes I would forget that it was a retelling.
While Darcy was a jerk at the beginning, he does help the family eventually. He does his best to fix the situation without telling anyone. Darcy does this selfless thing which is unlike anything he has done so far. Plus, how many people do you know that wouldn’t broadcast the great thing that they did? Some people just want everyone to know how great they are so they get all of the recognition.
If you are a fan of a great retelling then you will love Good Fortune. If you are not a fan of any changes in a classic story, then hopefully you could still be persuaded to give the book a chance.
- I received this ebook from NetGalley. This is my honest review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.