BOOK CLUB: The Bride Test

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Author: Helen Hoang
ISBN: 9781760876029
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: July 2019
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Helen Hoang is back with her second novel, a romantic tale with leads that we don’t often see. I look forward to hearing what our members think of the tale.


Synopsis from the Publisher website:

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 is published by Allen and Unwin and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Allen and Unwin 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are currently reading The Bride Test and you can read their thoughts on the book in the comments below, please be aware there may be spoilers.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Bride Test

  1. A delightful story which was hard to put down.
    The Author, Helen Hoang who is herself on the Autism Spectrum writes a touching story of Khai Diep who has autism and cannot express his feelings in a normal way.
    His mother is concerned for his future so she returns to Vietnam to find his perfect bride.
    Esme Tran has to convince Khai to love her in 6 months.
    She accepts his strange behaviours and learns how to make him happy but it takes his brothers understanding to make him realize that what he fells for her is really love.
    A few hiccups along the way lead to a lovely happy ending.

  2. Thank you to the Beauty and Lace club for sending me this book to read.
    I really enjoyed this book about what it is like to love somebody with Autism which was written by Helen Hoang who has a great understanding of Autism as she suffers from it herself. I found this to be a refreshing unconventional love story with a happy ending. I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys a good read.

  3. Thankyou Beautyandlace and Allen&Unwin for the opportunity to review this great book.
    ‘The Bride Test’ by Helen Hoang is about My, mother of a little girl, Ngoc Anh, all living with her mother and grandmother. My is mixed her mother finding she was pregnant to an American man 23 years ago.
    My cleans bathrooms for a living in Ho Chi Minh City and whilst working meets Co Nga who asks if she would go to California to try to persaude her son Khai to marry.
    My decides to go for three months which is a very big step, and does everything to try to please Khai which is difficult as he has autism and finds social skills awkward.
    In America My changes her name to Esme (short for Esmeralda) and her daughter’s name to Jade although Jade remains at home with her grandmothers.
    My is working for Khai’s mother in a restaurant she owns.

    My (Esme) is a delightful character, she feels inferior and tries so hard, she is quick to point out that she is only capable of cleaning toilets!
    At times the book is funny, sad sometimes, and gives a greater understanding of how difficult it must be to fit into a culture you weren’t always a part of.
    I enjoyed this book so much and it was truly a book I could not put down
    ‘The Bride Test’ was just so good, loved it.

  4. This was a great second book by Helen Hoang a follow up the Kiss Quotient. The book follows Esme who is flown to America with the idea of marrying Khai, all arranged by his mother. They deal with a lot of issues but the biggest being Khai having Autism and believing he is incapable of loving someone.

    Overall I feel like Esme did fall in love very quickly but she was an extremely likeable character. As was Khai even though you knew his actions were going to lead to misunderstandings.

    It is also great to read about what is happening in the lives of characters the first book and hear more about Quan who will be one of the main character’s in the third book in the series. I will be continue with this series in the future and have already recommend this book to others.

  5. I really enjoyed The Bride Test and I thank Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin for the opportunity to read it!

    I won’t recap the story, but just say that the book shines a light on people with Autism and how they relate and process emotions and situations differently. That said it also shows that people with autism can still have deep relationships and find love – just as Khai and Esme try to do in the Bride Test.

    The story grabbed me from the beginning an I felt invested in their lives. Esme makes for a powerful character – strong and smart although she worked as a cleaner in Ho Chi Minh city. Her story and her relationship with her family and Khai and his family make for great reading! Love it!

    High recommended.

  6. Thank you to Beauty and Lace for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

    The Bride Test is a beautiful book about love and emotions.

    The main character in this book Khai Diep struggles with showing emotions due to his Autism.

    He meets a beautiful young lady who is practically “falling at his feet” but yet he keeps pushing her away not knowing how to express his emotions.

  7. I had a hard time staying connected to My/Esme. She started off funny, witty and determined. She knew what she wanted and was going for it. She was going to seduce Khai and make him fall in love with her. Then all of a sudden she did a back flip “I can’t marry you unless you saw I Love You”. Who was this insecure girl? I much preferred the Esme who was determined to do anything to better her and her daughter’s life.

    The character of Khai Diep, a young man on the autism spectrum, was brilliantly portrayed and I could feel his anxiety and inner turmoil as he tried to be himself and also please those around him. He always felt like he was letting everyone down which was quite sad to watch.,
    Esme did a lot of talking but no communicating. I feel a bit more communication could have solved most of their problems straight up.

    I would love to read the stories of Khai’s mother, Co Nga and Esme’s mother, Linh. I think these two strong woman would have very interesting stories to tell.

    The Bride Test was a highly entertaining, sweet, fun romance read.

  8. Having read The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoag , I really wanted to read The Bride Test. This book did not disappoint. It was an enjoyable read . As with the Kiss Quotient the main character in The Bride test , Khan Diep, has autism and does not know how to express himself. He keeps pushing Esme , the girl who loves him , away because of this.
    This is a beautiful story about love and emotions that d licately deals with autism.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin for giving no me the opportunity to read this book.

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