“The Fortunes is the kind of book that raises far more questions than it resolves. Not only does it present a vast swathe of often-ignored history, in deftly fictionalized form, it’s an empathetic book, not just to its protagonists but to its secondary and tertiary characters and even, often, to its villains.
It questions motivations, feelings, intentions, rarely certain despite the author’s fictional imperative. Sometimes I found myself wondering ― why is Vincent Chin’s friend curious at all about the kind of father-stepson relationship Chin’s killers had? Why should I care? But The Fortunesisn’t out to convince you that you should care about that, or anything in particular. Instead, it’s doing what a great novel should do: revealing what there is to care about and to think about. Even better, it’s revealing those questions about a slice of history that America needs to be dealing with.
The Bottom Line: In a thought-provoking, sharply written, four-part novelistic chronicle of Chinese-American life, The Fortunes proves uneven at times but the powerful prose and themes shine through.”—Huffington Post