Author: Kathy Wang
Publisher: Custom House
Released: May 25, 2021
Received: Own (BOTM)
Impostor Syndrome is Kathy Wang’s latest novel, and it happened to come across my plate thanks to May’s Book of the Month choices. I’m not sure that I would have heard about it otherwise. Still, when I read about it, I knew right away I had to read it. How could I say no to a book that promised to merge feminism, spy thrillers, and corporate America all into one?
Julie Lerner is not her real name, but it is the persona she picked up before getting sent off to America. Now she’s a COO of Tangerine, a famous (and wildly successful) technology firm. She had to claw her way up to this point, and she’s not going to let anyone, not even her handlers, ruin what she has made for herself.
Enter Alice Lu, a low-level employee at Tangerine. However, her position within the company allowed her to realize that there was something very wrong going on, as private information seemed to be leaking out from highly secure locations.
I’ll admit, by the time I finished Impostor Syndrome, I was feeling a little conflicted. On the one hand, I absolutely adored how many elements it brought into the mix. It was so much more than I had expected, which is saying something. It was a feminist spy thriller, yes, but it also brought in some family drama and Silicone Valley-based drama as well.
Don’t forget; this novel is also full to the brim with commentary. Commentary about corporate America. Commentary about sexism and prejudice. Even commentary about how women treat each other in the workforce.
It’s a lot to take in, is what I’m trying to say. I actually did enjoy a lot of those elements and appreciated what Wang had to say here. I think the problem, for me, is that the book was almost trying to do too much?
Though truthfully, I think I would have found myself enjoying this book more had I actually liked either character. I just couldn’t get into the mindset of either Julie or Alice, and that kept me from getting too invested (or worried) in their situation.
Still, overall I did enjoy the read, and I don’t regret the time I spent reading it. It was a fun and quick read and was enough to get Kathy Wang’s writing on my radar, so that feels like a win to me.