The Expatriates
by Janice Y.K. Lee (read by Laurel Lefkow)
Little, Brown

Never judge a book by its cover, so the cliché goes. Can one say the same about audiobook narrators? R.C. Bray, for example, the deep, por­tentous rumble behind The Martian, is perfect for tense, violent adventures. Laurel Lefkow, who reads this long-overdue audiobook, also does science fiction, but with a literary bent. Does she work for this nuanced story of three women swapping life in modern-day America for Hong Kong? This is a character study, propelled by the tragic relationship between Margaret, an architect turned full-time mother, and Mercy, the young Korean-American who was babysitting Margaret’s three children when the son vanished. Completing the triangle is Hilary, who tries not to drown in Hong Kong’s social whirl. Lefkow is effective, whether conveying the sharp tongue behind Lee’s satire, the claustrophobia of Hong Kong’s social elite or Margaret’s grief and rage.