Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions - like grief. And love. He thinks he's defective.
Khai's family, however, understand that his autism means he processes emotions differently. As he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.
As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can't turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn't go as planned. Esme's lessons in love seem to be working...but only on herself. She's hopelessly smitten with a man who's convinced he can never return her affection.
With Esme's time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he's been wrong all along. And there's more than one way to love.
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.
Khai and Esme are placed together in an arranged marriage style pairing by Khai’s endearing mother, Cô Nga. Like anything, Khai’s mother has the best of intentions for her son, however, no best laid plan ever runs smooth does it? A story full of mentionable characters, such as Khai’s brother, Quan, who is an attention grabbing character in his own right within the narrative. (His character needs his own story. 😉 )
Every aspect of this book was driven by the heart, and for that reason, was a total attention grabbing read for this reader. The emotional roller coaster ride that Khai and Esme take only cements their vulnerability, raising the emotional fallout for readers. I cannot say enough how fabulous The Bride Test by Helen Hoang is to read. It is a book that I could gladly go back to again in the future and a read I would recommend.
Review copy received from Allen and Unwin