An instant New York Times bestselling debut novel about a young woman’s dark obsession with her privileged classmate and the lengths she’ll go to win his love—from prizewinning Chinese-American author Susie Yang.
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
LONGLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION'S FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
A TODAY SHOW READ WITH JENNA PICK
INDIE NEXT NOVEMBER LIST
INDIGO STAFF PICK OF THE MONTH
A BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH ON AMAZON, APPLE, LIBRARYREADS
Raised outside of Boston, Ivy’s immigrant grandmother relies on Ivy’s mild appearance for cover as she teaches her granddaughter how to pilfer items from yard sales and second-hand shops. Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and, most importantly, to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer, the golden boy of a wealthy political family. But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses, punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China, and her dream instantly evaporates.
Years later, Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman, haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family. Back in Boston, when Ivy bumps into Sylvia Speyer, Gideon’s sister, a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fate.
Slowly, Ivy sinks her claws into Gideon and the entire Speyer clan by attending fancy dinners, and weekend getaways to the cape. But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted, a ghost from her past resurfaces, threatening the nearly perfect life she’s worked so hard to build.
Filled with surprising twists and offering sharp insights into the immigrant experience, White Ivy is both a love triangle and a coming-of-age story, as well as a glimpse into the dark side of a woman who yearns for success at any cost.
"Susie Yang's electrifying debut novel, White Ivy, has well earned its spot on the longlist for the Center for Fiction's 2020 First Novel Prize. Part immigrant story, part elitist takedown, part contemporary novel of wicked manners, White Ivy is an unpredictable spectacle."
"What begins as a story of a young woman’s struggles to assimilate quickly becomes a much darker tale of love, lies, and obsession, in which there are no boundaries to finding the fulfillment of one’s own dreams. Yang’s skill in creating surprising, even shocking plot twists will leave readers breathless."
"The plot, at times thriller-paced, makes it an easy page-turner, but the cutting prose movingly portrays many layers of tribulation and traumas, and marks Yang as a voice to watch."
"Yang's expert character development leads the reader to grapple with Ivy's choices and morality just as much as she does..."
"...a highly entertaining, well-plotted character study..."
"This is Austen mixed with the hyperreal sharpness of Donna Tartt."
"...an enthralling, thrill of a book..."
"Yang has written a first-rate psychological novel with an intriguing and memorable heroine. This is definitely a writer to watch."
"The book is a rare thing: an insightful and keen observation of our culture and psychology cloaked in a plot that keeps you up past your bedtime."
"The genius of "White Ivy" is that each plot point of the romance is fulfilled but also undercut by a traumatic pratfall, described in language as bright and scarring as a wound."
"...this sharply observed and boldly imagined novel..."
"The intelligent, yearning, broken, and deeply insecure Ivy will enthrall readers, and Yang’s beautifully written novel ably mines the complexities of class and privilege. A sophisticated and darkly glittering gem of a debut."
"Yang has created an ambitious and sharp yet believably flawed heroine who will win over any reader, and the accomplished plot is layered and full of revelations. This is a beguiling and shattering coming-of-age story."
"Yang’s dark, spellbinding debut gives insight into the immigrant experience and life in the upper class, challenging the stereotypes and perceptions associated with both. The surprising twists, elegant prose, and complex characters in this coming-of-age story make this a captivating read."
What Writers Are Saying
"White Ivy is magic and a necessary corrective both to the stereotypes and the pieties that too easily characterize the immigrant experience. Most pleasing of all is the story of Ivy Lin, a daring young woman in search of herself, and not soon to be forgotten."
— JOSHUA FERRIS, prize-winning author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
"There's so much complexity in Susie Yang's White Ivy, and it's a testament to her skill that she can explore and upend our ideas of class, race, family, and identity while moving us through a plot that twists in such wonderful ways. But none of that would matter nearly as much if not for the truly unforgettable narrator, Ivy, who is so hypnotic, the way her voice feels both wild and controlled. She ran right through me."
— KEVIN WILSON, NYT-bestselling author of Nothing To See Here
"White Ivy is dark and delicious. Ivy Lin eviscerates the model minority stereotype with a smile on her lips and a boot on your neck. Cancel your weekend plans, because you won't be able to take your eyes off Ivy Lin."
— LUCY TAN, author of What We Were Promised
"Elegant and terrifying, steely and sparkling, White Ivy is a propulsive story told with the satisfying simplicity of a classic."
— REBECCA DINERSTEIN KNIGHT, author of Hex
"Bold, daring, and sexy, White Ivy is the immigrant story we’ve been dying to hear. Rather than submit to love, Ivy seeks it out, sinks her teeth into it, and doesn’t let go. A stunning debut."
— NEEL PATEL, author of If You See Me, Don't Say Hi