Chin’s specificity and wonderfully drawn minor characters add depth and richness to a story that another writer might have washed out with the glaring light of moral clarity ... What emerges is not only a subtly provocative depiction of the tech industry, and this country, as tilting ever more off-kilter; but also a realistic portrayal of a woman in crisis. Edwina’s problems are of the kind that can’t be solved through faulty logic or convenient substitution, but of course we humans, not yet the best versions of ourselves, will try the faulty logic and convenient substitution anyway.
Edwina’s wry outlook on her adopted country and her fellow expatriates is one of the novel’s chief delights ... Outwardly dull and ever watchful, Edwina is that irresistible protagonist, the overlooked woman on whom nothing is lost ... There is, however, no spiritual, let alone criminal, mystery here, although Edwina’s quest and the novel’s periodic flashbacks do create a satisfying atmosphere of suspense. What interests Ms. Chin—and what she so skillfully dramatizes—is rather the eternal conundrum of being a human among other humans and, more specifically, of being an immigrant at the mercy of a volatile host ... At such introspective moments—and there are many of them—Edge Case itself might have floundered and Edwina’s musings dissolved into inspirational cliché. But Ms. Chin for the most part steers clear of such hazards, wisely allowing her heroine’s simple story to remain simple, even as she expertly directs the shifting currents of emotion and of memory that sweep us along in this affecting novel.
... an excellent book that tackles a number of topics — misogyny, racism, love and estrangement — and does so beautifully ... A lesser novelist might get tripped up. But Chin doesn't; she succeeds, and makes it look easy. Much of that is due to her expert portrayal of Edwina, a fully formed character who can't seem to catch a break. Chin allows Edwina to persevere when she can and despair when she must; the moments when she's overwhelmed are genuinely heartbreaking ... Chin proves masterful at examining family dynamics. Edwina's relationship with her mother is a fraught one, but Chin doesn't fall into the trap of casting the mother as a nagging busybody; she comes across as a real person dealing with grief of her own. Edwina's marriage to Marlin is similarly realistic; Chin portrays the couple's dissolving relationship in a (sadly) believable way ... Chin does a wonderful job exploring the social issues at play as Edwina and Marlin navigate life as would-be immigrants in Trump's America ... That the situations are all realistic is what makes them horrifying; Chin asks her readers to reflect on their own complicity in the environment that makes these kinds of things par for the course for women and people of color ... a wonderful novel, smart but not showy, emotional but not sentimental. It asks us to examine a broken society that most of us have helped create, either by our actions or our apathy, and to consider what we'd do when someone we loved has changed irrevocably. It would be a massive understatement to call Chin a writer to watch; she's fully formed, beyond talented, and — crucially — an author of deep compassion.