Summary and book reviews of In Full Bloom by Caroline Hwang

In Full Bloom

by Caroline Hwang

In Full Bloom by Caroline Hwang X
In Full Bloom by Caroline Hwang
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2003, 291 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2004, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Wry humor, lively dialogue, and a compassionate take on being a single woman under a traditional mother's matchmaking thumb enliven this insightful debut.

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 nice professional Korean husband. Ginger could not disagree more, but unable to stand up to her mother, she sets upon a two-pronged plan: She'll sabotage the dates her mother arranges while stepping up her efforts to win a promotion at á la Mode magazine. She is confounded at every turn, however, by men who reject her before she can reject them and by style fiends better practiced in the art of office warfare. Finally free of her prejudices and preconceptions, Ginger finds that only by embracing her mother and her Asian roots will her happiness blossom. In Full Bloom heralds the arrival of a bright talent on today's literary scene.

Chapter 1

"Ginger, you there!"

Even for my mother this was a strange way to start a conversation. The ringing telephone had cut my shower short. I secured the towel wrapped around me. "Where else would I be Monday at eight-thirty in the morning?" A mere fashion assistant at À la Mode magazine, I was supposed to be at work in half an hour. But my boss was my best friend from college, and Sam wouldn't be in until eleven.

"Then why you don't answer the phone quickly? I rang and rang! I worry nobody home!" My mother was still shouting. I thought I heard traffic in the background--the same rapid-fire honks that were coming in through the open window. Why was she calling from the street? What was she doing on my street? I spun toward the window, my wet hair whipping me in the face. There, directly below on the sidewalk, was her black head and bright green Chanel suit.

"Mom? Why aren't you in Milwaukee? Did something happen? Is something wrong?"

"Nothing ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hwang runs out of steam by the end of the story with an anticlimactic resolution, but the novel has plenty of engaging moments and arch humor. With a little polishing, Hwang could become a crowd-pleasing storyteller.

Booklist - Kristine Huntley
Hwang throws in some unexpected surprises and manages to take a different approach to a popular genre.

Kirkus Reviews
Wry humor, lively dialogue, and a compassionate take on being a single woman under a traditional mother's matchmaking thumb enliven this insightful debut..... Perhaps most vitally, though, the story's savvy urban rush never jostles the gently endearing path of Hwang's delicate mother-daughter bond.

Author Blurb Melissa de la Cruz, author of Cat's Meow
In Full Bloom made me laugh, cringe in recognition, miss my family, and thank god I had never worked as a fashion assistant! Caroline Hwang has written a funny and sad novel, a truthful portrait of life in the fashionable fast lane as it is lived by a second generation Asian-American woman attempting to resolve both sides of her identity.

Author Blurb Jennifer Weiner, author of Good in Bed and In Her Shoes
Witty, insightful, and sharp as a pair of this season's Pradas, In Full Bloom offers a bouquet to any reader who's ever gone looking for love with her mother looking over her shoulder.

Author Blurb Emily Barr, author of Backpack and Baggage
I couldn't put it down! Caroline Hwang leads the reader to expect one thing, then hits us with the unexpected every time. She brings Jane Austen's themes storming into the twenty first century–and convention goes out the window.

Author Blurb Anna Maxted, author of Running in Heels
A smart, funny, elegantly written book, full of wit and intelligence.

Author Blurb Wendy Holden, author of Farm Fatale
Warm and quirky.

Reader Reviews

mbg1968

Very enjoyable! A nice glimpse of a different cultural outlook (than my own). All within a "chick-lit" plot but to a higher standard.

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked In Full Bloom, try these:

  • The Love Wife jacket

    The Love Wife

    by Gish Jen

    Published 2005

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Powerfully evoking the contemporary American family in all its fragility and strength, Gish Jen has given us her most exuberant and accomplished novel about the new "half-half" American family.

  • The Quality of Life Report jacket

    The Quality of Life Report

    by Meghan Daum

    Published 2004

    About this book

    'Daum brings a crisp, wisecracking voice to her novel about Lucinda, a life-style correspondent for a morning television show, who, in search of a more interesting life, leaves New York for Prairie City, a fictional Midwestern town.'

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Miracle Creek
    Miracle Creek
    by Angie Kim
    Miracle Creek, the debut novel from Angie Kim, hinges on the mysterious explosion of an oxygen tank....
  • Book Jacket: Courting Mr. Lincoln
    Courting Mr. Lincoln
    by Louis Bayard
    19 out of 21 of our First Impression Reviewers rated Louis Bayard's latest novel, Courting Mr. ...
  • Book Jacket
    Transcription
    by Kate Atkinson
    Over her two-decade-plus career, Kate Atkinson has reinvented herself as a writer several times by ...
  • Book Jacket: Exhalation
    Exhalation
    by Ted Chiang
    Exhalation is an assemblage of nine short stories and novellas written by Ted Chiang, a computer ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Guest Book
    by Sarah Blake

    "An American epic in the truest sense…"
    Entertainment Weekly
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Women Rowing North
    by Mary Pipher

    The instant New York Times bestseller from the author of Reviving Ophelia.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Her Kind of Case
by Jeanne Winer

A highly-recommended emotion-filled legal drama with three starred reviews!

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Miracle Creek

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie...

A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I T S Form O F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

 



© BookBrowse LLC 1997-2019. All rights reserved. Information at BookBrowse.com is published with the permission of the copyright holder or their agent.
It is forbidden to copy anything for publication elsewhere without written permission from the copyright holder.