The Bride Test is a fun, cozy read that I whipped through in no time at all. Khai Diep has been diagnosed with autism and asperghers and that means he processes his feelings differently than most people. He, however, thinks he’s “defective” and has decided to stay completely away from women. At 26, he has yet to have a girlfriend and his mother, Cô Nga is getting worried. He should be married by now. So Cô Nga goes to Vietnam and interviews prospective brides for Khai. She finds the perfect girl.
Esme Tran is a single mom cleaning toilets in a hotel to support her daughter, mother, and grandmother. The same hotel where Cô Nga is interviewing potential wives for Khai. Esme sees them one after the other come running into the washroom in tears. When an older lady, clearly a Vietnamese American, comes in to relax for a few minutes, Esme ends up receiving a most unusual proposition: come to California for the summer and marry my son. In her one room home, Esme’s mom convinces her that this is an opportunity she can’t afford to turn down.
When Khai finds out what his mother has done, he goes along with it, determined that it will not work and his mother will finally stop trying to set him up. She promises. For Esme, she is determined to try to make it work for her daughter’s sake. The ensuing difficulties are sometimes humorous but sometimes heartbreaking, for Esme especially as she takes courses, works part time in Cô Nga’s restaurant, and tries to figure out how to reach the heart of this handsome, unusual young man.
A very fast read full of compassion, humour, empathy, cultural and culinary settings, and most of all, romance. A joy to read. * * * * *
Other books by Helen Hoang:
The Kiss Quotient
The Heart Principle
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