Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

crazy rich asians recap

The basics

Title: Crazy Rich Asians


Series: Crazy Rich Asians #1

- Crazy Rich Asians (2013)
- China Rich Girlfriend (2015)
- Rich People Problems (2017)

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Goodreads Summary:

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back.

Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

Here’s our recap of what happened in Crazy Rich Asians. Read on for a full plot summary to refresh your memory!

  • The book opens in 1986, with the Young family showing up to a London hotel. They’re not made to feel very welcome, and Nick’s mother Eleanor thinks it’s because of her sisters-in-law, who obviously don’t look as fancy as she does.
  • The hotel staff try to kick the family out, but Felicity makes a call and her husband buys the hotel.
  • Presently, in 2010, Nick is dating Rachel. He invites her to spend the summer with him and his family in Singapore. Someone called Celine overhears their conversation. Celine knows Nick as her family is also rich and from Singapore. Celine takes a photo of the couple and it gets passed around.
  • Eleanor is at Carol’s house for Bible study (i.e. gossiping). They talk about a bunch of people who got fat, got rich, and had photos published in magazines. They gossip about Nick and his now not-so-secret girlfriend. Eleanor didn’t know anything about her. The group prays for Nick.
  • Rachel’s mum gets excited that Nick might propose. This stresses Rachel out a bit.
  • Nick speaks to his cousin Astrid about their family, who warns him that the family probably won’t approve of Rachel.
  • Astrid is in Paris, and is disappointed that she is recognised and can’t be as anonymous as she hoped.
  • The Cheng family plan to fly in for the Khoo wedding. They end up arguing over private jets.
  • The family start spreading rumours that Rachel is part of the Taipei Plastics Chu family. (She’s not.) Eleanor plans to look into this, and she’s unimpressed because the Taipei Chus are new money.
  • Eleanor tells Astrid she wants to throw a surprise party for Nick and Rachel. She also says that she assumes Rachel is cunning, because she’s a professor.
  • Rachel is annoyed that Nick only just told his family about their relationship.
  • Nick calls his aunt Rosemary, who suggests that Nick visits Ah Ma (his grandma) first, and then hopefully she’ll let Rachel stay at the house with them.
  • Astrid returns home to Singapore. She feels like she has to hide her expensive purchases from her husband, Michael, who isn’t happy with how Astrid comes from so much money. He presumably feels insecure.
  • Astrid finds a message on Michael’s phone that says “MISS U NSIDE ME”.
  • Eddie Cheng mulls over the fact that he doesn’t have his own plane.
  • Nick and Rachel finally set off for Singapore.
  • The Leongs go to the Colonial Club for dinner. Astrid gets paranoid about the text message. She looks through Michael’s luggage and finds a receipt that shows he was in Hong Kong (not Chongqing, like he said he was).
  • Eleanor calls her husband to tell him that Rachel is actually from China, not Taiwan. Eleanor says Rachel comes from peasants and must be a gold digger.
  • Rachel and Nick arrive in Singapore. Colin and Araminta, the bride and groom, pick them up from the airport. They take Rachel and Nick out for dinner. Rachel is invited to Araminta’s bachelorette.
  • Astrid goes to see her friend, Stephen Chia. He’s a jeweller. He asks Astrid if she liked the bracelet that Michael bought for her birthday. Astrid didn’t receive a bracelet from Michael. Oh dear.
  • Rachel’s friend, Peik Lin, visits and meets Nick for the first time. Rachel goes to Peik Lin’s house and chats with her family. Rachel mentions the wedding and the family tell her it’s basically a royal wedding.
  • Nick and Colin got for coffee and a chat. They talk about Rachel and Amarinta a lot.
  • Nick invites Rachel to Ah Ma’s house for dinner. Rachel’s nervous because Peik Lin has built this up a lot. Nick drives them over to Ah Ma’s. There are Gurkhas at the gates.
  • Astrid thinks about how Michael refused to accept a house from Astrid’s father. Again, he’s clearly insecure.
  • A lot of guests are at the manor to watch the tan hua flowers bloom.
  • Rachel is introduced to most of the family.
  • Nick talks to Ah Ma about Rachel. She invites them to stay with her.
  • Astrid heads home and crashes into a tree.
  • The bachelorette party happens. The girls all go off to a private island resort. The other women are absolutely awful to Rachel.
  • Nick is at the stag do. Bernard causes trouble.
  • Eddie gets his family ready for a photoshoot for a magazine. He’s unhappy with the way they look, and what they’ll be wearing to the wedding.
  • The women at the bachelorette all bitch about everyone else. Someone puts fish in Rachel’s bag, and writes insults in blood on her mirror.
  • Rachel makes friends with Sophie, Colin’s sister.
  • An investigator asks Eleanor to pay 30k Yuan for information on Rachel. Eleanor refuses, but she does pay 10k. She is given a suitcase with information inside.
  • Astrid is in hospital after her accident. Her family are angry because she’s not in a private room, and she didn’t tell them she was in there. She tells Michael that she knows he has been lying to her. He avoids her questions and leaves her.
  • Nick fixes Colin’s bachelor party, which Bernard messed up. The guys all head off to Australia.
  • Wye Mun, Peik Lin’s father, goes to Dr Gu to ask about Nick’s family. Dr Gu tells Wye Mun how rich and powerful the family is.
  • Rachel talks to her mum about the culture shock. Her mum tells her that she needs to behave herself.
  • Rachel finally meets Eleanor. She brings her oranges. At least Nick’s dad is nice?
  • There’s a family meal. Rachel is bombarded with questions. When Nick and Rachel leave, Francesca lies about how Rachel acted at the bachelorette. She’s trying to make Rachael look like a gold digger so the family will get rid of her.
  • There’s a pre-wedding party at Harry Leong’s house. Michael tells Astrid he’s not going to the wedding.
  • Alistair and his girlfriend, Kitty Pong arrive. Kitty is in an interesting dress. The pair announce their engagement.
  • Peik Lin takes Rachel to Patric so she can get more outfits for the wedding.
  • The wedding day is finally here. Rachel arrives with Nick’s aunts and uncles. There’s paparazzi everywhere. In the midst of the wedding, Nick realises he wants to marry Rachel.
  • Kitty talks to a fan, who turns out to be a Malay princess, covered in diamonds. Impressive.
  • Ah Ma learns that Alistair and Kitty are engaged.
  • Nick and Rachel go outside to talk. He starts to talk about marriage, but Amanda interrupts and hints about her first kiss being with Nick.
  • Su Yi says that Alistair needs to break off his engagement to Kitty, and also says that Nick and Rachel aren’t that serious.
  • Eleanor panics because everyone seems to love Rachel. Francesca promises to sort that out.
  • Charlie and Astrid bump into each other. Astrid tells him that she and Michael are having problems. They set out for Hong Kong.
  • Francesca mentions that she, Nick, and Mandy had a threesome in Capri.
  • Rachel is angry. She tells Nick about the bullying. He tells her everyone loves her. Which is obviously a lie.
  • Nadine’s father in law wakes up from a coma after six years.
  • Nick tells his mum he plans to propose. The pair argue.
  • Astrid goes to Charlie’s office and is shown photos of Michael, taken by a P.I. The photos show him with a woman and a four year old boy.
  • Nick and Rachel drive to an estate in Malaysia. His family are already there. Ah Ma doesn’t give permission for Nick to marry Rachel.
  • Eleanor tells Rachel that he father is still alive. Rachel is shocked, but Eleanor thinks she’s faking it. Rachel passes out.
  • Michael tells Astrid that he faked the affair so he could break up with Astrid. He doesn’t want to be everyone’s tech-support or handyman any more.
  • Rachel wakes up and Nick drops her off in a nearby town. She goes to stay with Peik Lin. Rachel calls her mum and asks about her dad. Kerry is too shocked to answer any questions and Rachel hangs up.
  • Rachel plans to go to China to meet her father. She tells Nick where she’s going, and that she’ll be going by herself.
  • Colin tells Nick that Kitty hooked up with Bernard at the wedding party.
  • Astrid admits to hearing that her great-something grandfather dealt opium.
  • Charlie encourages Astrid and sys Michael might have a change of heart.
  • Kerry arrives in the country and she and Nick intercept Rachel before she gets to China.
  • Kerry tells Rachel that Zhou Fang Min isn’t her father. Zhou Fang Min was a rich man that Kerry was married to. He was horrible, and so was his mother. They basically used Kerry as a slave. Kerry had an affair with a neighbour, and he is Rachel’s real father. The Zhou family threatened to pour acid in the baby’s eye so Kerry could have a second child, so Kerry fled to her village before then fleeing to the USA. She lost contact with Rachel’s father, Kao Wei. Nick and Rachel get back together.
  • Apparently Nadine’s father-in-law froze everyone’s accounts and is making them repay everything they spent while he was in a coma.
  • Eleanor regrets messing with Nick and Rachel.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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