Thursday, May 20, 2021

Book Review: "Dial A for Aunties" by Jesse Q. Sutanto

As Jesse Q. Sutanto proves in her new novel, Dial A for Aunties, sometimes family helps get you out of trouble, sometimes they create more trouble. But they (almost always) mean well!

If you like your books zany with a healthy helping of wacky, this is a book for you! It’s a mixture of oversized farce, accidental murder, family drama (and pressure), even a little second-chance romance.

Meddelin “Meddy” Chan tries to be the dutiful Asian daughter, but it’s hard when you have not only your mother to please, but three of your aunts as well. Fear of disappointing her mother has led her to make some foolish decisions, like ending the best relationship she ever had because she didn’t want to introduce him to her family. (Not that there was any reason for her mother or family to disapprove, but she still worried.) But now she’s part of the family wedding business, as the photographer. It wasn't quite her choice, but she does like photography, so...

When a blind date her mother arranged for her (some of the funniest stuff in the book pertains to the way the date was arranged) turns into a disaster, Meddy accidentally kills the guy. In a panic, she goes to her mother, who, of course, summons the aunts. With a big wedding weekend ahead they decide to do what anyone would—hide the body.

What could go wrong? While obviously there’s lots of craziness to be found here, at its core Dial A for Aunties is a story of family, of trying to do the right things, and of finding the courage to be your own person and follow your own path. Sutanto called it a love letter to her own family, and you can definitely see why.

I heard they’re making this into a Netflix movie, so that should be fun. I read this with my friend Louis; buddy reads with him are always so enjoyable. Books are more fun when you talk about them with good friends!

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