Review: I Work Hard Every Day To Make My Husband Bankrupt
|Author||San Hua Xi Shi (三花夕拾)|
- Incredibly well-researched behind-the-scenes portrayal of the c-entertainment industry.
- Hilarious protagonist who tries so hard to fail, but ends up succeeding every time.
- Heavy focus on the protagonist and her career & personal development, rather than her life revolving around her husband.
- The general premise/plot does get repetitive towards the end, especially when the author goes just a little too in-depth on behind-the-scenes details.
This is a novel that's the very definition of 爽 - with no punches pulled, no big plot twists, just a straightforward but hilarious feel-good novel about a rich CEO's housewife finding happiness in herself and her work again, and learning to thrive without him.
The story starts with the protagonist Lin Meng finding out that the events leading up to her nightmares, where she is abandoned with nothing by her husband for his secretary, keep coming true. Since she had been instrumental to his game company becoming successful, she felt wronged by her eventual downfall. So, in a fit of spite, she decides to spend all his money and bankrupt him before he leaves her, and what better to do it than by investing huge amounts of money into TV shows and movies?
What makes this novel stand out against the rest is how 95% of it is focused on Lin Meng's accidental hero storyline building her entertainment company, working with directors, dealing with PR problems, etc. It's really nice to see a behind-the-scenes take on the c-ent genre, especially a well-researched behind-the-scenes take. The author was very detail-oriented in getting everything right, including the shadier stuff like fanning online flame wars as part of a PR strategy, suppressing negative trending topics, people buying roles/screen-time with money, etc.
And what really makes it work is Lin Meng's inner monologue, which is absolutely hilarious and all about how she can waste money, while everyone around her thinks she's some kind of visionary and artist who can find profit from the unlikeliest projects.
The novel is an eventual happy ending between Lin Meng and her husband, who spends his fairly limited screen-time changing to be a better husband from the neglectful, uncaring attitude he had before. I was a huge fan of how she laid out all the ways he'd hurt her (from having his assistants buy her thoughtless gifts, some of which were things she explicitly disliked like a car after she'd been through a car accident), to him never telling her where he was, etc. all while not shirking the blame herself for never communicating her feelings enough. It's a very slow process of learning to trust and love him again after giving up on him, but I felt it was done pretty well and was very satisfying in the end.
If you want a novel that has a focus on the romance/relationship, this is not necessarily for you. But if you want to read an emotionally satisfying career journey for a female protagonist (this could be a flaw or a selling point, depending on how much you care about the ins-and-outs of the Chinese entertainment industry) that ends with her and her husband repairing their relationship, then this book is for you.