Review: The Daughters Of Henry Wong – Can you be super rich and happy?
Harrison Young is an investment banker and director of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, so it’s no wonder that The Daughters Of Henry Wong is set in the ruthless world of the Hong Kong super rich and involves a bank takeover.
The Daughters Of Henry Wong, the fourth book written by Young, is told through the eyes of Jonathan “Wendy” Wentworth who is an eccentric figure known for his cream linen suits and red suspenders. He marries into money, a lot of money, and becomes the son-in-law to Henry Wong. Henry is a dominant figure in the Hong Kong Business world and head of the Pearl River Bank. Henry likes “Wendy, ” but there seems to be no place for him in the household, so he spends his time taking long lunches and lounging in the most prestigious clubs in Hong Kong.
When Henry doesn’t return from a boat trip, suspicions fly and the vulture’s circle to take the Pearl River Bank. It’s up to Jonathan to get out of the clubs and into Henry’s office to save the bank and secure his future. It is here Wendy deals with family deception, blackmail, a takeover threat, disloyalty and a potential assassination. All within the public glare of the catty Hong Kong socialite set and within the pages of ‘Mosquito’ a venomous gossip magazine.
What Did I think of The Daughters Of Henry Wong?
As you can imagine, being written by the director of the Commonwealth Bank, this book is heavily detailed when it comes to the financials and the tension between Hong Kong, foreign intelligence and the Peoples Republic of China. If you don’t have a basic grasp of shares and financial jargon, or an interest, you will get a bit lost along the way. Weaving through the financial intrigue, intimidation, and takeovers, you get a glimpse into the cold, heartless lives of some of Hong Kong’s wealthiest people with the added flourish of bond like predicaments.
I’m sure the characters are based on people that exist today in Hong Kong, or in Young’s world, and I found that rather sad. No-one in the book is warm, loving, or even remotely happy most of the time. Money becomes the mistress to all in the end, which found me skimming pages to reach the conclusion because I didn’t care for the characters, least of all “Wendy.” The only character I remotely cared about was Song, the quiet, intelligent housekeeper, anchor to Jonathan “Wendy” and his family.
This is an intelligent piece of fiction but has characters with no heart and soul which probably makes it an accurate reflection of the lives of those who endure, survive and thrive in high places within the Hong Kong finance world. However, it doesn’t make me care enough to get into and love as a piece of fiction.
2.5 out of five for the intelligent prose and accurate portrayal of Hong Kong finance world. I would have loved to have been routing for at least one of the characters.
The Daughters of Henry Wong is published by Ventura Press. Buy now from Booktopia (clicking to buy from this site keeps Duffythewriter going!)
The Book Synopsis
Money, power, passion and betrayal.
Fresh from Harvard, Jonathan “Wendy” Lee had the good fortune of meeting and marrying Amanda Wong, daughter of the rich and powerful Henry Wong, the most influential banker in Hong Kong.
Known as an eccentric figure within the affluent clubs of Hong Kong’s high society, Wendy spends idle days impeccably dressed in 1930s-style cream-coloured linen suits, lunching alone.
His life appears perfect, until his father-in-law suddenly disappears without a trace.
Within days, he must respond to a take-over threat, a blackmail attempt and his wife’s disloyalty. Under the guidance of double-crossing investment bankers, wise friends and alluring women, Wendy races to uncover the layers of deception right under his nose before it’s too late.