Free Food for Millionaires
by Min Jin Lee · read December 19, 2022
Riveting but also very emotionally distressing. This was one of the most fluid 15+ character books I've read in a long time — it felt effortless to keep track of everyone, and Lee's portrayals of her cast were complex and gracious. All the infidelity wore on me by the end, but what happened to Leah particularly disturbed and grieved me.
It might be because I just finished The House of Mirth, but there seemed to be many parallels between the two novels — both centred around a young woman in New York from humble beginnings with a taste for fine things, a fluctuating moral compass, an eye for fashion (and a talent or lack thereof for hats specifically), a tendency to make reckless decisions, a benevolent older friend who lines up opportunities for her, a lover she can't marry, and an ultimately financially ruinous defiance to play the game by its rules.
"I'm not saying you can't fuck it up. I'm just saying you should be making the mistakes as you head towards your goals."