"China Rich Girlfriend" by Kevin Kwan (2015)
"When I feel you are ready, I will introduce you to Hong Kong's most exclusive church, which you are to begin attending on a regular basis. Before you protest, please not that this is one of the cornerstones to my methodology of social rehabilitation. Your true spiritual affiliations do not concern me - it does not matter to me if you are Taoist, Daoist, Buddhist, or worship Meryl Streep - but it is absolutely essential that you become a regular praying, tithing, communion-taking, hands-in-the-air-waving, Bible-study-fellowship-attending member of this church. (This has the added bonus of ensuring that you will be qualified for burial at the most coveted Christian cemetery on Hong Kong Island, rather than having to suffer the eternal humiliation of being interred at one of those lesser cemeteries on the Kowloon side.)"
For a biographical introduction to Kevin Kwan please refer to the entry for Crazy Rich Asians. China Rich Girlfriend is the second book in the series, followed by Rich People Problems, which I've also read. More background to this book can be found in those entries.
In China Rich Girlfriend Nick and Rachel are about to get married in California, and the same cast of characters is dealing with various personal crises and attempting to realize various ambitions. Shortly after her wedding, Rachel discovers she has family in China that she was previously unaware of, and her attempt to become better acquainted with this family forms the backbone of China Rich Girlfriend.
It's an entertaining book but it's all over the place. Even the title is an indication of this state of disarray. Is the "China rich girlfriend" Rachel? Or Kitty Pong, former TV star? Or Colette, the spoiled socialite? It's never clear in the book, and the back and forth between these three characters often threatens to overwhelm the novel. To put it another way, China Rich Girlfriend could have done with some editing.
I also found the author's depictions of China less than convincing. He's on firm footing when he writes about Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, but the further he gets from those three places the more the settings used in his novels seem like backgrounds or props. There's no real feeling for those places. It's all just names and secondhand trivia.
This said, China Rich Girlfriend is definitely the funniest of the three books, and I would recommend it for this reason alone. There's a scene in the Hong Kong church mentioned above that had me laughing out loud.
One thing though - and this is curious for a series of books attempting to encompass all of Asia - why is there no mention of Japan or South Korea in any of them? The author namedrops SO many places, but in all three books not a single mention of Japan or South Korea. I could understand the omission of Myanmar or Vietnam, but no Japan? No South Korea?
"Rich People Problems" by Kevin Kwan (2017)
"Crazy Rich Asians" by Kevin Kwan (2013)
"The Windup Girl" by Paolo Bacigalupi (2009)
"Mission of Gravity" by Hal Clement (1954)