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In Full Bloom by Caroline Hwang
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In Full Bloom (2003)

by Caroline Hwang

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675271,619 (3.36)2
"Ginger Lee has come to New York to be someone - not to be with someone. Yet she's taking too long, according to her mother, who thinks a job is just a paycheck and that the solution to Ginger's problems is a husband." "Unable to stand up to her mother, Ginger sets upon a two-pronged plan: She'll sabotage the dates her mother arranges while stepping up her efforts to win a promotion at A la Mode magazine. But as one disastrous date follows another, she worries that the search for the husband of her (mother's) dreams will never end." "Confounded at every turn by men who reject her before she can reject them and by style fiends better practiced in the art of office warfare, she suddenly finds herself listening to her mother's love and career advice - and to hilarious end."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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Showing 5 of 5
I haven't gone outside the Chinese-American bubble often when it comes to AA fic, though some of the tropes are certainly similar. A fun chick-lit read, blending bits of Devil Wears Pradaesque (still need to read that, but I have seen the movie...?) fashion magazine politics with the 2nd gen story of parents trying to find partners for their kids so they can make grandbabies.

I can see how the ending would feel anticlimactic, but tbh I thought it was rather refreshing that Ginger *didn't* end up dating anyone, and that the relationship with her brother was still unresolved. It's kind of a bummer that that reunion didn't go smoothly, but the door's opened for future communication.

The 13 year silence between Ginger's mom and her brother sort of reminded me of my own family history- my grandma refused to talk to my uncle when he married a white lady until my cousin (the first grandbaby) was born. When I learned about it, it seemed rather unfathomable because Ngin-Ngin was such a sweet lady, AND was born here so 2nd gen... I dunno. Luckily, my parents have told me that 'it's not a race' re: having kids and getting married, though as they get older I do wonder if they'll change their minds. ( )
  Daumari | Dec 30, 2017 |
Loved it. Maybe I'm just a sucker for bildungsroman chick lit where nothing much happens apart from a woman finding her way, but this is exactly what it was. I enjoyed the heroine's identity crisis and the resolution felt very natural to me. ( )
  kikilon | Mar 31, 2009 |
I almost put the book down after the first chapter and the typical cast of manic fashion magazine back stabbers in New York - how jejune!
I decided to tough it out when Ginger's - a Korean American - mother comes in to arrange her daughter's wedding.
This book is mostly about racism, race relations and forging an identity. Hwang manages to do this in a colourful, mostly homourous way. The supporting characters are alternatively open, stubborn, hopeful or selfish and help create a good contrast of points of view and opinions. None of them are too stereotypical and some of them are even surprisingly delightful.
It's a bit of a disappointment then, that Ginger does not really grow as a person - although she does come to many realizations. The end shows her making a series of compromises, but to what extent has she changed? the reader can only guess. I'm not convinced she found her true self. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Nov 9, 2008 |
Contemporary novel. Ginger moves to NYC to excape her mother and pursue ambitious magazine career. Mother moves in to help her get married. “Hwang packs the fun of a chic woman’s quest for love and fulfillment into a poignant immigrant’s tale…”
  sungene | Oct 30, 2007 |
Loved it. Maybe I'm just a sucker for bildungsroman chick lit where nothing much happens apart from a woman finding her way, but this is exactly what it was. I enjoyed the heroine's identity crisis and the resolution felt very natural to me. ( )
  kikianika | Jun 13, 2006 |
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