* Match Point meets The Perfect Marriage
Romantic prospects are popping up everywhere in the life of successful lawyer Alan Yang. The only problem: he is already engaged to be married in one year’s time. Starting from this seemingly rom-com premise, the novel proceeds to steer readers through a dark maze of dubious intentions, guiding them to a masterful final reveal.
While seeing his girlfriend Hsin-ching off at the airport, successful young lawyer Alan Yang spontaneously proposes, promising to prepare everything for their marriage on her return from graduate school in one year’s time.
Not long after, Alan’s ex-girlfriend appears at the law firm where he is employed asking him to represent her in divorce proceedings. The two had once been the “perfect couple” in university, but eventually split due to their differing ideals. Alan, however, has continued to harbor feelings for her over the intervening years.
Meanwhile, a beautiful new employee arrives at the company that is cooperating with the firm on an important commercial deal. She is a recent grad of Alan’s alma mater, so he naturally takes her under his wing. As the divorce case and the commercial deal negotiations simultaneously heat up, Alan seeks assistance from one of his closest associates at the firm, who also happens to be his childhood sweetheart. With seemingly ideal romantic partners circling him like sharks, how is Alan going to keep his promise to Hsin-ching?
At first glance a lighthearted rom-com, The Gap Year plays with the ambiguous language of daily life, skillfully manipulating readers’ perceptions and keeping them guessing as to Alan’s ultimate intentions. Complex business and emotional relationships intertwine, and the gallery of potential romantic pairings keeps expanding, until the meticulously constructed final reveal forces a reinterpretation – à la Sixth Sense – of all that has come before.