The Fortunes of Jaded Women Read Online Carolyn Huynh

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 103
Estimated words: 95281 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 476(@200wpm)___ 381(@250wpm)___ 318(@300wpm)

Everyone in Orange County’s Little Saigon knew that the Duong sisters were cursed.

It started with their ancestor Oanh who dared to leave her marriage for true love—so a fearsome Vietnamese witch cursed Oanh and her descendants so that they would never find love or happiness, and the Duong women would give birth to daughters, never sons.​
Oanh’s current descendant Mai Nguyen knows this curse well. She’s divorced, and after an explosive disagreement a decade ago, she’s estranged from her younger sisters, Minh Pham (the middle and the mediator) and Khuyen Lam (the youngest who swears she just runs humble coffee shops and nail salons, not Little Saigon’s underground). Though Mai’s three adult daughters, Priscilla, Thuy, and Thao, are successful in their careers (one of them is John Cho’s dermatologist!), the same can’t be said for their love life. Mai is convinced they might drive her to an early grave.
Desperate for guidance, she consults Auntie Hua, her trusted psychic in Hawaii, who delivers an unexpected prediction: this year, her family will witness a marriage, a funeral, and the birth of a son. This prophecy will reunite estranged mothers, daughters, aunts, and cousins—for better or for worse.

A multi-narrative novel brimming with levity and candor, The Fortunes of Jaded Women is about mourning, meddling, celebrating, and healing together as a family. It shows how Vietnamese women emerge victorious, even if the world is against them.


1 Oanh Dương

EVERYONE IN ORANGE COUNTY’S Little Saigon knew the Dương sisters were cursed.

They heard that the curse began in Vietnam when Oanh Dương’s ex-mother-in-law, Lan Hoàng, had gone north to visit the reclusive witch who lived in Sa Pa, at the foot of the Hoàng Liên Sơn mountains. The trip across the volatile terrain was treacherous; only truly diabolical souls who wanted to inflict generational curses on others would be able to survive. Like all slighted Vietnamese women, Lan Hoàng wished for the type of scarring that would make her wanton daughter-in-law and all her future kin ostracized forever. She just didn’t know what that would look like.

The night Lan arrived at the quiet village, she was exhausted. The fickle weather had brought an onslaught of all four seasons within a few days, and she hadn’t been as prepared as she thought. The rustling wind had been her enemy one day, and her friend the next. Thankfully, her hired guide had enough shearling to keep her warm for the final leg of her travels. She begged him to take her to see the witch immediately. The more time wasted, the closer Oanh would be to conceiving a child.

The guide dropped Lan off in front of the tiny, all-white stone home at the foot of the mountains, and wished her luck, though he wasn’t sure if he meant it. The old man had taken many desperate women—mothers, daughters, and sisters—across the country to visit the witch, but he’d never once stepped foot inside. He knew better than to interrupt the flow of the universe. Only women were brave enough to tempt fate like that.

Like every other French colonial home that lined the dirt road, the house had stone pillars that held up the front, like Atlas holding up the weight of the world. Wild ivy wrapped all the way around them, mirroring hands that held a tight grip on all lost souls who entered. Though the exterior appeared welcoming, the inside looked as if light had never been able to find its way in, no matter how hard it tried.

Lan shivered, suddenly feeling nervous for the first time in her journey. She’d dreamt about this moment for months, and now that she was finally here, she was afraid. Afraid of what she would become if she went through with it. Would she still have a soul after? As she second-guessed her decision, the dilapidated wooden front door squeaked open, expelling a sinful pheromone, tempting Lan inside. The witch’s face peeked out from the shadows, and she pushed the door further ajar and beckoned her. The woman was more petite than imagined, and she had a strangeness about her that Lan couldn’t place. Though quite angular with her face structure, uncommon for Vietnamese people, the witch’s beauty was enhanced by her dark hair that had grown wild every which way. Lan couldn’t discern her age; every time she tried to guess, she felt like her eyes were deceiving her.

“You’re late.” The witch’s voice had traces of irritation, but her impish eyes worried Lan the most. She couldn’t read the intent behind them, but she could sense the greed, and it exacerbated her nerves. “Hurry up, you’re letting the heat out.” Lan didn’t ask her how she knew she was coming. She didn’t want to know more than she should because she was afraid of ghosts and spirits following her home. She was already testing the universe’s patience by being there.