Cover Image: Welcome Me to the Kingdom

Welcome Me to the Kingdom

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley, Mai Nardone, and Random House for the ARC.

Like anyone on this site, reading is one of my true loves in life. I also cherish sleep, however. Lately, I've found these two loves clashing, my lids falling heavy as I attempt to plow forward in a novel. My bedtime keeps creeping up earlier and earlier, soon to rival my grandmother's habits.

This is all to say that Mai Nardone deserves a more dedicated reader for his excellent debut, Welcome Me to the Kingdom. Even with my sleep-fuzzed brain, I kept chugging away, reading ten pages a night because the writing is so damn good. The character development is pristine, the sheer scope of the novel is intimidating, and the prose is imbued with an unimpeachable swagger.

I probably missed a few connections with my choppy reading style, but the book left an impression on me nonetheless. Pick this one up!

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Great ideas. Seem to be well executed. Stopped at 10%. Not the book for me. I don’t think it would appeal to many of our readers so not planning to purchase.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the ARC.

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This collection of intertwined short stories about Thailand is a brutal and unflinching examination of the country's poverty, power structures, sex work, white sex tourism, education system, and the utter disaster that is its social safety net. Here, you'll meet child athletes, workers, and sex workers; unwanted children and orphans; women forced to give up their own lives in order to support their parents; and an unrelenting environmental background of death and harm: mining, dilapidated shantytowns, barren fields and farms. Written with clarity and verve, this is ideal for book clubs and discussion groups.

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I enjoyed this! It was my first novel by Mai Nardone and I look forward to reading more of their work. Thank you netgalley + the publisher for the ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

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Spanning decades and various points of view, this collection of linked stories is effortlessly engaging. The 1997 financial crisis serves as a center of sorts, around which the author, Mia Nardone, spins sparkling stories involving 3 families all in search of "the good life."

The collection is particular effective at conveying how Thailand was at a crossroads. The sense of place is very strong and the characters are complex and well-drawn.

Highly recommended for fans of literary fiction.

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While I liked reading about Mai Nardone’s cast of characters and their respective striving to try and make it in Bangkok, what I honestly enjoyed even more was the opportunity “Welcome Me to the Kingdom” gave me to peek behind the curtain and get a taste of life as it is for millions in Thailand beyond the picture as presented by its tourism industry.

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