Keeping Up With The Penguins

Reviews For The Would-Be Booklover

Women Of Good Fortune – Sophie Wan

Crazy Rich Asians meets Ocean’s Eleven in Women Of Good Fortune, a hot new debut by Sophie Wan (kindly sent to me for review by the team at Ultimo Press).

The story revolves around three women, best friends living in Shanghai, each in their own desperate circumstance. Lulu is about to marry a man she doesn’t truly love, because her family relies on her to pay off their debuts. Rina is trying to claw her way up the corporate ladder, and needs money to freeze her eggs so she can have the family she wants once she reaches the top. Jane has champagne dreams but, thanks to her stingy husband, a beer budget; she thinks she could marry someone more generous, if only she could get the plastic surgery she covets.

There’s only one logical solution to all of their problems: plan a heist, and steal a safe full of red envelopes from Lulu’s forthcoming wedding celebration.

Women Of Good Fortune reads a bit like a tourism ad for Shangai at times (“at one of Shanghai’s many green spaces” was the most egregious phrase), but Wan mostly overcomes that by the third act. Unfortunately, that’s when the plot also gets a bit chaotic, and I’m not sure I caught every detail of how the heist finally unfolded.

For me, the side characters were the best part of Women Of Good Fortune. Vic, a wealthy and cocky love interest, and Mei and Michaelangelo, heist co-conspirators, brought sparkle and brevity to every page on which they appeared. Wan definitely shows promise as a novelist in the way she can write quirk and witty repartee.

Buy Women Of Good Fortune on Booktopia here. (affiliate link)


  1. You had me at “Crazy Rich Asians meets Ocean’s 11″—what a fun premise! And speaking of, have you ever done a good heist roundup? That’d be a list I’d be interested in. I love a good heist story and I have a bunch of heist movies I’ll watch any time, but no books come to mind off the top of my head.

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