Author: Carolyn Huynh
Publisher: Atria Books
Released: September 6, 2022
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warnings: Familial trauma
The Fortunes of Jaded Women was one of my three picks for September’s BOTM. Once again, I’m pleased about this selection, as it got me to pick something slightly outside of my normal picks. This is the tale of one family, several generations, all cursed.
Oanh decided to leave her family, which started the curse. Her (now ex) mother-in-law felt it appropriate to punish the woman for falling in love (the horror!). The curse? For Oanh and every woman in her family to only ever have daughters.
A few generations later, the curse is still going strong. Mai Nguyen had three daughters, and now she constantly worries about their fate. When a fortune teller informs her that she must make amends with her family, she will – but it will be far from an easy task, as there is much trauma and tension between every generation.
“Because life was always meant to unfold organically. Especially when the universe colludes with other spiritual forces at play; that’s when it collides.”
If you love family drama (that happens to be full of generational trauma), check out The Fortunes of Jaded Women. Ironically, this is one of two books I’ve read this month that covered a similar theme. Out of the two, this one was more akin to fantasy and magic, while the other leaned more toward science fiction.
To say that this novel was full of characters would be an understatement. We have several generations of women, each with her own daughters. It’s a lot to keep up with, but thankfully there’s a family tree at the beginning of the book! I relied heavily on that tree for the first third of the book (I’m horrible at names), but after a while, everyone found a place in my head, making the read much more intuitive.
The Fortunes of Jaded Women is a complex and rich read, and boy, is it not afraid to touch upon every emotion. There’s anger, grief, happiness, guilt, etc. Once again, it makes for a lot to take in, but I personally really enjoyed the complex web that Carolyn Huynh wove.
There are times where The Fortunes of Jaded Women felt a little slow. However, all of that is paid back tenfold by the end! I was laughing at points, which is always a delight. All things said and done; I would highly recommend this to any curious reader.