Monday, March 13, 2023

Book Review: Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen


Jacque's Review:

Counterfeit was Reese Witherspoon's book club selection for June 22, so I had to pick it up when I saw it prominently displayed on the "staff picks" shelf at the library. Ava is a smart and successful attorney who is married to a prominent doctor. When she decides to stay at home with her first child, her life starts to unravel. Their finances are stretched without the second income and Ava is at her wits end with her son Henri's behavior. She relies heavily on a nanny for support and tries desperately to get her son into a top tier pre-school to help him adjust, but that requires money. When her old college roommate, Winnie, reappears out of nowhere and offers her an opportunity to make some quick cash, she is conflicted. She has always been a strait-laced law-abiding citizen and couldn't possibly consider such a scheme, but this could be her way out of this mess.

Winnie was born in China and only attended Stanford for a short period of time before she was forced to leave due to an SAT cheating scandal. She was very quiet, had a strong accent, and was far from a fashion icon. She desperately wanted to fit in and achieve the American dream, but Stanford wasn't going to be her ticket to success. She returns to China and eventually starts a counterfeit handbag business with near perfect replicas. When she returns to the United States and bumps into Ava, she is hardly recognizable. She is dressed to the nines, has lost her accent, and appears to have everything Ava has ever hoped dreamed of. 

Readers quickly discover that the story is being told by Ava to a detective, so things must not have gone as planned. Will Ava sell Winnie out to protect herself? Will she take responsibility for her role in this scheme? You will want to read to find out. This is a very humorous story that kept me engaged from start to finish. I am not interested in expensive purses, but I was intrigued by the counterfeit industry and how someone could pull off such a scheme. I felt for the characters and the circumstances they were in that led them down this path. Even though they were clearly doing something that was illegal, I was rooting for them to come out on top.

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