Review: Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

July 2, 2020 | Published by Penguin Australia, available now. RRP $32.99 Trade paperback

For an outrageous, modern update on A Room with a View by EM Forster

In SEX AND VANITY, Kevin Kwan has delivered the perfect antidote to travel restrictions, lockdowns and 2020 blues. Lucie Churchill travels to Capri to attend a glittering society wedding and meets George, a mysterious fellow guest and his eccentric mother. They have an instant and undeniable attraction, but Lucie has always pushed aside her Asian heritage and George is a threat to the curated life she has created for herself.

Years later their paths cross again, and Lucie, now engaged to the most socially popular bachelor in New York find his reappearance an annoyance and a distraction. It is described as a homage to A Room With a View by EM Forster (one of my favourite books) and the story does contain the essence of this quiet, profound story, but overlaid with opulence and excess, an unreal and satirical look at modern society and the challenges of acceptance, blended culture and the socioeconomic divide. It’s a lot of fun, armchair travel and a great escape from ordinary life read.


KEVIN KWAN is the author of the international bestsellers Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems. Crazy Rich Asians was a #1 New York Times bestseller, a major motion picture, and has been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in Los Angeles and is trying to eat less pasta.

With thanks to Penguin Australia for the review copy.

© 2015 Melissa Sargent