Dial A for Aunties
Humorous American Literature
Asian American Literature & Fiction
Setting – California
Publisher: Berkley (April 27, 2021)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Paperback: 320 pages
Kindle ASIN: B08JKM7JCC
What happens when you mix 1 (accidental) murder with 2 thousand wedding guests and then toss in a possible curse on 3 generations of an immigrant Chinese-Indonesian family?
You get 4 meddling Asian aunties coming to the rescue!
When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for the family wedding business—”Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!”—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream flowers.
But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?
Oh my, this is satire at its finest. Jesse Q. Sutanto sure knows how to bring the funny.
Meddelin Chan is part of her family’s wedding business. She photographs the event from start to finish and with Indonesian – Chinese weddings that entails a lot. “Big Aunt” makes the luscious cakes, “Aunt 2” is in charge of hair and make-up. Meddie’s mother takes care of all the flowers and “Aunt 4” sings, providing entertainment. Together all five of them try to hide a body but wait, I am getting ahead of myself.
Meddy’s mother is so worried about her daughter’s love life that with some help from her meddlesome aunts she sets Meddy up on a dating site and pretends to be her. Meddy finds out when she learns she has a blind date with a man her mother feels is perfect. Sadly the date doesn’t go well and Meddelin accidentally kills the man and could have killed herself. But she survives and makes it home with the date in the trunk of the car. With a huge wedding the next day they try to keep the body on ice until after the event but due to circumstances beyond their control that darn body ends up at the wedding site. What ensues is a wild ride of a story I could not put down. Heck, Meddy’s college boyfriend even enters the scene and plays an integral part.
Okay, you need to suspend reality while reading this story but you will catch yourself laughing out loud and immersed in a wonderful escape.
Meddy is the dutiful daughter and “Ma” and her Aunties are an absolute hoot! The Chans are a close family and there is so much love there. The Auntie’s get a little snippy with each other but they truly support each other even when it comes to getting rid of a dead body. These characters practically jump off the page. The dialogue which includes a little bickering just sings. I laughed so hard when Meddy and her aunties had to explain to Ma the text messages she had received from the man she set her daughter up with.
The story had a few Weekend At Bernie’s movie moments too as we moved to the wedding part of the story. That poor dead body turned up in some surprising places.
But the story isn’t all laughs. We get a nice look at the traditions and stress of an Indo-Chinese wedding. I really felt for the bride as certain things came to light.
I loved the twist that brought Meddy’s college boyfriend, Nathan Chan back into the story and the little flashbacks to their previous relationship. Don’t worry Chan is like Smith in the Indo-Chinese world so they are not related.
I absolutely loved everything about this story and I was thrilled to read it is going to be adapted into a movie on NetFlix. It was such a wonderful escape I have to give it my highest – deserves more than 5 stars – Paradise Rating. Dial A for Aunties is a fantastic story full of delightfully quirky characters that I wish I could meet in person. Crazy chaos overtakes these pages and will have readers grinning ear to ear. Fun and entertaining. A must-read!
*Note: The book does include explicit language.
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About the Author
Jesse Q Sutanto grew up shuttling back and forth between Indonesia, Singapore, and Oxford and considers all three places her home. She has a Master’s from Oxford University, but she has yet to figure out how to say that without sounding obnoxious. Jesse has forty-two first cousins and thirty aunties and uncles, many of whom live just down the road. When she’s not writing, she’s gaming with her husband (mostly FPS), or making a mess in the kitchen with her two daughters.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”