FICTION

Searching for Sylvie Lee

Morrow. Jun. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9780062834300. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062834331. F
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New York Times best-selling novelist Kwok follows up Mambo in Chinatown and Girl in Translation with an intriguing and gripping mystery. New York City college student Amy Lee opens the narrative by describing the passing of her grandmother a week ago in Amsterdam, where older sister Sylvie had gone to be with the woman who raised her early in her childhood. Mere pages into the work, Amy now learns from their cousin Lukas that Sylvie seems to be missing after having recently returned stateside without her immediate family’s knowledge. The voices of Amy, Sylvie, and their mother are interspersed in alternating chapters, with Amy’s in the present and Sylvie divulging what went on in her life just months before she vanished. As information seeps out, suspects responsible for Sylvie’s disappearance emerge, ranging from her philandering husband to her flirtatious new cello instructor Filip to any of the family members she had been staying with overseas.
VERDICT Kwok’s tightly woven novel is an emotional and thrilling page-turner that also provides insight into her Asian culture. A major change of pace for Kwok; readers who enjoyed the work of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl should appreciate. [See Prepub Alert, 12/16/18.]

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