Everybody’s heard of The Brightons.
From rags to riches, sleepy Oregon to haute New York, they are the half-Chinese family that built Kaleidoscope, a glittering, ‘global bohemian’ shopping empire sourcing luxury goods from India and beyond. Statuesque, design savant, and family pet—eldest daughter Morgan Brighton is most celebrated of all. Yet despite her favored status, both within the family and in the press, nobody loves her more than Riley. Smart and nervy Riley Brighton — whose existence is forever eclipsed by her older sister’s presence. When a catastrophic event dismantles the Brightons’ world, it is Riley who’s left with questions about her family that challenge her memory, identity, and loyalty. She sets off across the globe with an unlikely companion to seek truths about the people she thought she knew best —herself included.
Using the brightly colored, shifting mosaic patterns of a kaleidoscope as its guide, and told in arresting, addictive fragments, Kaleidoscope is at once a reckoning with one family’s flawed American Dream, and an examination of the precious bond between sisters. It reveals, too, the different kinds of love left to grow when tightly held stories are finally let go. At turns devastating and funny, warm and wise, sexy and transportive, Riley’s journey confronts the meaning of freedom and travel, youth and innocence, and what it looks like to belong, grieve, and love on one’s own terms.
“Cecily Wong’s Kaleidoscope is an evocative novel about sisterhood, ambition, self-knowledge, and how we carry forward after loss. I imagine many readers will find themselves in these pages.” —Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes
“Rich and gorgeously written, Kaleidoscope is a novel of America and of globalization, of sisterly intimacy and of the need for independence. It is pure pleasure to encounter the world through Cecily Wong’s sharp eye and sharper tongue. Here is that rare thing: a story of grief that also manages to be laugh-out-loud funny. I never wanted to put it down.” —Julia Pierpont, bestselling author of Among the Ten Thousand Things
“Kaleidoscope is an ode to the fierce and complicated bond between sisters, to unexpected love, to the pleasures of travel and food and unclaimed afternoons. It traces the way loss can change the shape of a life, honoring the experience of profound grief while, miraculously, reminding us of the beauty to be found in surviving. Intricate, gorgeously written, deeply moving -- I loved this book.” —Julie Buntin, author of Marlena
“Cecily Wong’s Kaleidoscope is a dazzling meditation on excess and loss, sensuality and separation. A tour de force contemplation of the end of youth. Not only is it emotionally gripping, structurally brilliant, and conceptually mesmerizing, it’s pure good fun too—lusciously rich in description and replete with all varieties of readerly pleasure.” —Yelena Akhtiorskaya, author of Panic in a Suitcase