cover image The Chosen and the Beautiful

The Chosen and the Beautiful

Nghi Vo., $26.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-78478-0

Vo’s extraordinary full-length debut (after the novella When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain) draws readers into a fantastical reimagining of the world of The Great Gatsby. In Vo’s version, magic is as regular as Jay Gatsby’s soirees, prohibition bans covered demon blood as well as alcohol, and star golfer Jordan Baker can turn cut paper into enchantments. Jorden and Daisy Fay became friends when they were children. Now, Daisy is settled with Tom Buchanan while Jordan navigates New York City’s social scene as an accepted outsider, kept at arm’s length for her Vietnamese heritage. When Daisy sets Jordan up with her cousin, Nick Carraway, Jordan takes little notice of him until Jay Gatsby sets his eyes on Nick as well. The unnerving Gatsby asks Jordan to put in a good word for him with Nick, Daisy’s reeling from Gatsby’s reemergence in her life, and Jordan is developing unwelcome romantic affections of her own. Vo balances the increasingly entangled lives of Jordan and her friends with flashbacks to Jordan and Daisy’s childhood and teen years. The plot unravels tantalizingly slowly, and Vo’s immersive prose never ceases to captivate. The Gatsby-related details and hints of magic will keep readers spellbound from start to finish. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (June)