Study Guide

Crazy Rich Asians Part 2, Chapter 1

By Kevin Kwan

Part 2, Chapter 1

Astrid — Singapore

  • Michael canceled on dinner at Ah Ma's house. Astrid pieces together that he's canceled on almost every family occasion over the past few months. She's seeing red flags.
  • Ah Ma's special tan hua flowers are blooming, so Astrid tells Michael to come after work.
  • The two argue about how extravagant the party will be and why Michael doesn't want to be there.
  • Astrid assumes he has other plans, like hooking up with the woman from the text message. She notes that his "gentler side" has gone away (2.1.20).
  • We get some insight into Astrid's current feelings about Michael's affair: she feels a catharsis that the uncertainty is gone, and she can now accept and move forward. True to form, though, as she thinks about it, she works herself up again.
  • Resolving not to let Michael's absence ruin her night, she is "determined that this would be a magical night of wild blooming flowers […] Good things always happened at Ah Ma's" (2.1.23).
  • We're given context about why Astrid and Michael live in their "unfathomable" living conditions (2.1.26).
  • Here's what you need to know:
  • When Astrid's father had wanted to commission a house for Astrid and Michael after their wedding, Michael refused. He didn't want to live anywhere that he wouldn't have been able to afford on his own, but Harry wouldn't allow his daughter to live in "government-subsidized housing" (2.1.26).
  • With that they compromised: Michael, Astrid, and Harry all kicked in the same amount for a down payment on an apartment.
  • We get a sense of Astrid's wealth, including her own real estate portfolio in Singapore, Malaysia, London, Sydney, Honolulu, and Shanghai. (That's it?)
  • While she's not in control of her wealth or properties yet, her net worth continues to grow each year, despite how much she spends on couture dresses and jewelry.
  • In preparing for Ah Ma's party, she decides to wear her new super expensive earrings and redresses her son to match.