Study Guide

Crazy Rich Asians Part 3, Chapter 20

By Kevin Kwan

Part 3, Chapter 20

Villa d'Oro — Singapore

  • Peik Lin and Nick leave Rachel and Kerry to talk.
  • Rachel is angry.
  • Kerry tells her story:
  • At 17 she fell in love with an older man, 23-year-old Zhou Fang Min, from a rich family well placed in the Communist Party.
  • Her parents tried to stop their love because they wanted her to focus on her studies, but she rebelled and ran away to Xiamen, got married, and devastated her parents.
  • Sadly, her dream turned sour: Zhou Fang Min's mother was awful and made Kerry into her servant.
  • To make matters worse, Kerry had a hard time conceiving a child, so her mother-in-law was even crueler to her.
  • Kerry convinced Fang Min to move into their own apartment, but he started drinking and gambling and became increasingly violent.
  • Kerry was too embarrassed to tell her parents, so she "had to make the best of it" (3.20.9).
  • A man, Kao Wei, lived downstairs and would protect Kerry when Fang Min was violent.
  • He would help devise tactics to get Fang Min to sleep before he got violent, like spiking his drinks or keeping his friends there longer.
  • Eventually Kao Wei and Kerry fell in love. She got pregnant and knew it was Kao Wei's.
  • Her mother-in-law recognized the signs of pregnancy, was overjoyed, and became doting and caring toward Kerry.
  • Kerry felt like she "had been rescued from hell" (3.20.18).
  • The in-laws were outraged when Rachel came out a girl, blaming Kerry for failing to do her "duty" (3.20.19).
  • The Zhous had a plan to handicap Rachel by pouring acid in her eye. If she was blinded as a baby, it could be passed off as a birth defect and Kerry could have another baby under the one-child policy.
  • …pour acid in a baby's eye…?
  • Kerry's special maid revealed the Zhou's plan. One day, Kerry excused herself from lunch, scooped up Rachel, walked out, and never looked back.
  • She called Kao Wei who met her in a taxi. He traveled with them because people were on the lookout for a single mother with a child, not a couple.
  • He returned Kerry to her village, but she never told him Rachel was his so as not to ruin his life.
  • The Zhous used the incident to defame Kerry.
  • After she left her village, the Zhous tried to punish her, so they put her parents under house arrest and tormented them for months.
  • Kerry stayed with grandparents in Shenzhen who had Chu cousins in California. The Chus funded Kerry's way to America: that's why they're the Chus now.
  • Kerry has never been back to China. It's too dangerous.
  • She lost track of Kao Wei, despite sending letters.
  • She never heard back.
  • Kerry explains she had to put the past behind her.
  • Mother and daughter apologize and embrace.
  • After they make up, Rachel and Kerry join Peik Lin and Nick.
  • When Nick tries to leave, Peik Lin convinces him to stay.
  • Kerry asks for a Singapore Sling, a tourist drink, and Peik Lin suggests they go out for one.
  • Rachel asks Nick to join.
  • Again we see arguing about where to get the drinks.
  • Rachel is silent. Nick looks at her, she looks away, so he walks away from the table.
  • Get that? Lots of heavy, meaningful looks here.
  • Kerry tells Rachel Nick is a good man, says he flew to California to see her.
  • Shocked, Rachel goes to Nick and thanks him for bringing her mom.
  • He cryptically tells her a blue jay inspired him to do it.
  • They kiss and make up.
  • As Peik Lin and Nick bicker about where to go for food, Rachel says, "this is just how they all are." (3.20.117).