Charlie Wu, the tech billionaire who wasn't good enough for Astrid (according to her family), is possibly one of the purest characters in the novel. While he only appears in the final third of the book, we discover his love for Astrid is so pure, so strong, he'll still make grand gestures to make her happy.
Despite being jilted by Astrid with none other than a Wendy's Frosty, Charlie "never stopped loving her, not for one moment" (3.17.35). Okay, this happens all the time, so what makes Charlie special?
For starters, he's got Astrid on a pirate ship off the coast of Hong Kong, she's broken-hearted about her crumbling marriage, and he doesn't pursue her. What?! When he asks her if she was truly happy married to Michael and she responds that she was, "he knew it was too late" to tell her he still loved her (3.17.35). He doesn't complicate her life more by dumping his feelings on her. He appreciates and is grateful for the time they had together: "At least she had loved him once. At least he had four good years with the girl he had loved since he was fifteen" (3.7.36).
Ugh, Charlie, you're too sweet.
But Charlie doesn't stop there. He wants her "to find love again with her husband" (3.17.66). He immediately arranges to have Michael's business bought up and made into a lucrative commodity so that Michael can let go of his insecurities about money and give Astrid another chance. "He wanted to see the joy return to Astrid's face, that glow he had witnessed all those years ago" (3.17.66).
Have we mentioned that we <3 Charlie?