The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee is a recently released novel about a group of Americans living and working in Hong Kong. The story centers on several characters who are trying to familiarize themselves with a foreign country and new way of life.
The story is told through the eyes of a few women and shifts back and forth throughout the novel. Two of the women are married to men whose jobs transferred them overseas for indefinite periods of time. Margaret, is married and has three children. Hillary is married and childless. Mercy is single and the fly in the ointment of the story.
I was disappointed in this book. The main characters are unhappy for one reason or another, but I never felt much for any of them. Subsequently, I had a hard time sticking with the book. This is another one where I kept waiting for it to get better. From a writing perspective, my head kept telling me I might have felt a stronger connection with the characters if the story had been told in the first- person. All the time I was reading this book I felt disconnected. I just couldn’t put my finger on why. I think the story had potential, but it didn’t impress me in the way it was told.