Judith D Collins
The Leftover Woman
By: Jean Kwok
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 10/10/2023
My Rating: TBR
"At once a hugely atmospheric and suspenseful mystery and a compelling exploration of motherhood and belonging that packs a profound emotional punch. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book." — Lucy Foley, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Apartment
An evocative family drama and a riveting mystery about the ferocious pull of motherhood for two very different women—from the New York Times bestselling author of Searching for Sylvie Lee and Girl in Translation.
Jasmine Yang arrives in New York City from her rural Chinese village without money or family support, fleeing a controlling husband, on a desperate search for the daughter who was taken from her at birth—another female casualty of China’s controversial One Child Policy. But with her husband on her trail, the clock is ticking, and she’s forced to make increasingly desperate decisions if she ever hopes to be reunited with her daughter.
Meanwhile, publishing executive Rebecca Whitney seems to have it all: a prestigious family name and the wealth that comes with it, a high-powered career, a beautiful home, a handsome husband, and an adopted Chinese daughter she adores. She’s even hired a Chinese nanny to help her balance the demands of being a working wife and mother. But when an industry scandal threatens to jeopardize not only Rebecca’s job but her marriage, this perfect world begins to crumble and her role in her own family is called into question.
The Leftover Woman finds these two unforgettable women on a shocking collision course. Twisting and suspenseful and surprisingly poignant, it's a profound exploration of identity and belonging, motherhood and family. It is a story of two women in a divided city—separated by severe economic and cultural differences yet bound by a deep emotional connection to a child.
“A magnetic meditation on secret histories, motherhood, love, and how we show up for each other in the most surprising of ways. A beautiful, propulsive story!” — Laura Dave, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me
"A heart-tugging exploration of love, belonging, and the meaning of family." — Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The It Girl.
Buy the Book
"At once a hugely atmospheric and suspenseful mystery and a compelling exploration of motherhood and belonging that packs a profound emotional punch. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book long after I’d read the final page."
— Lucy Foley, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Guest List and The Paris Apartment
"A heart-tugging exploration of love, belonging and the meaning of family."
— Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The It Girl
"Jean Kwok delivers again with The Leftover Woman—a magnetic meditation on secret histories, motherhood, love, and how we show up for each other in the most surprising of ways. A beautiful, propulsive story!”
— Laura Dave, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me
“A haunting, emotionally powerful story about motherhood, family, oppression, immigration, and power. Kwok is an impressive talent whose books resonate with deeply felt emotion and expertly crafted plotting.”
— Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of Pieces of Her and the Will Trent series
"Jean Kwok has done it again. Her newest novel will make your heart race as it follows two determined women: one whose choices have been limited, and one who has the world at her feet. Jean’s heroines cross languages, borders, and cultures to collide in a confrontation that leaves blood on their hands. As gorgeous as it is thrilling, The Leftover Woman tells a story of identity, ambition, and love that makes us look again at who we are and who we're forced to be. It asks us: How far would you go to get what you want?"
— Julia Phillips, bestselling author of Disappearing Earth
"The Leftover Woman is an unforgettable, beautifully written page-turner that’s about so many things at once: a courageous woman fighting to escape an abusive husband, a mother’s love and sacrifice, and how culture and language dramatically change the lens through which we are seen and evaluated by others. Jean Kwok uses an intricately layered plot to ensnare and mesmerize us with fierce, complex characters. I absolutely adored this novel, from its tantalizing first pages to the poignant ending."
— Angie Kim, bestselling author of Miracle Creek
“What a page-turner! The Leftover Woman asks aching questions about family and love even as it hop-scotches across cultures and classes, bringing both tragedy and hope. A marvelous read.”
— Gish Jen, award-winning author of The Resisters
“An utterly riveting novel about two very different mothers, The Leftover Woman is not only an absolutely propulsive thriller but also a profound exploration of poverty and privilege, oppression and escape, desire and the self. This spellbinding narrative of immigration and hidden identity proves in so many ways that love has no boundaries.”
— Lan Samantha Chang, author of The Family Chao
“I couldn’t help but continue to read to figure out where she was and what happened to her. You can’t put it down!”
— Jenna Bush Hager, Today Show Book Club Pick
“Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok is a mystery about a daughter’s disappearance that will have you on the edge of your beach chair.” theSkimm
“Deftly moving between generations and from New York to the Netherlands, Searching for Sylvie Lee is a page-turner, and a suspenseful journey of secrets, family, loyalty, and loss.” Lisa Ko, award-winning author of The Leavers
“This isn’t a novel––it’s a puzzle box of familial secrets, some dark, others luminous, all of it haunting, mysterious, and completely satisfying. I was utterly spellbound.”
—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
“Like all most compelling mysteries, Jean Kwok’s Searching for Sylvie Lee has a powerful emotional drama at its heart. A twisting tale of love, loss and dark family secrets.”
— Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water
“Dazzling. A heartbreaking, tumultuous ride of a novel that upends our expectations—about family loyalty, cultural identity and the very nature of love itself—at every twist and turn. Kwok is a wise and knowing story-teller who keeps us under her spell until the very last page.”
— Julie Otsuka, New York Times bestselling author of The Buddha in the Attic
“Searching for Sylvie Lee is riveting. A dazzling, talented woman disappears, leading her younger sister to search the Netherlands—and the past—for the truth. This novel is part mystery, part saga of an immigrant family. It is both gripping and emotionally resonant on every page—a remarkable achievement.”
— Scott Turow, New York Times bestselling author of Testimony
“A dazzling display of the unique bonds among women, mothers and daughters. It’s a suspenseful read detailing what happens when the oldest daughter in a Chinese immigrant family disappears.”
About the Author
Jean Kwok is the award-winning, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Leftover Woman (coming Oct 10, 2023), Searching for Sylvie Lee, Girl in Translation and Mambo in Chinatown. Her work has been published in twenty countries and taught in universities, colleges and high schools across the world.
An instant New York Times bestseller, Searching for Sylvie Lee was selected for the Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club and featured in The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, CNN, The New York Post, The Washington Post, O Magazine, People, Entertainment Weekly and more. Jean has been chosen for numerous honors including the American Library Association Alex Award, the Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award, an Orange New Writers title and the Sunday Times Short Story Award international shortlist. She was one of twelve authors asked by the Agatha Christie estate to write an original, authorized Miss Marple story for Marple: Twelve New Mysteries.
She has appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America, and spoken at many schools and venues including Harvard University, Columbia University, Talks at Google and the Tucson Festival of Books. A television documentary was filmed about Jean and her work.
Jean immigrated from Hong Kong to Brooklyn when she was five and worked in a Chinatown clothing factory for much of her childhood while living in an unheated, roach-infested apartment. In between her undergraduate degree at Harvard and MFA in fiction at Columbia, she worked for three years as a professional ballroom dancer. Jean is trilingual, fluent in Dutch, Chinese and English, and studied Latin for seven years. She divides her time between the Netherlands and New York City. WEBSITE