Involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong.
It’s publication week for Winnie M Li’s Complicit (publishing this Thursday) and I can not wait to start seeing it on the TBR piles of readers. If you buy one book this Summer, make sure it’s this one. Buy it here. It will have you grasped behind the glitzy curtains of Hollywood, where you have a front row seat to the coercion, power, misogynistic world of film production and fame, even the hive like mind behind it to protect the rich and mighty.
Sarah is our protagonist, a Chinese-American who longs for a career in the movie world. Working at her parent’s Chinese restaurant, she longs for more, so when an opportunity to intern for a film production company arises, Sarah jumps at the chance. We see how Sarah falls in love with reading scripts, intrigued by all the threads of the job and when Hugo North walks in and notices her talent she’s thrilled and in awe. You’ll be left with the question of whether it’s the American Dream, or an American nightmare.
As Sarah begins to integrate herself more firmly into the world she has dreamt of becoming part of all her life, we, through her eyes and the injected interview formats with a journalist, begin to peel back the rose tinted disguise of stardom and see it for the real sell-your-soul life it can be. Where everyone is complicit in stepping on others to get to the top, where nothing comes without a price tag and where power is the only means of moral currency and respect. What happens to the women of stardom? The women whose voices are drowned out by the men who think that they owe them thanks? I was completely swept up and horrified by Sarah’s story, who is just the face of many women who experience the stories told in this novel.
Complicit is a novel told against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, driven by Winnie’s own experience of rape, this book questions consent, power and sexual assault. A powerful, enraging page-turner. A necessary, compulsive, relevant, conversation-starting and eye-opening novel that you MUST add to your TBR pile.
Thankyou Orion Books for sending me a proof copy, it’s definitely one of my favourite books of the year so far!