I picked up Dial A for Aunties from my local library this month, and couldn’t wait to talk about it!
Meddy is the good daughter. She stuck around and gave up the love of her life to go into the wedding business with her ma and aunties. All her cousins moved away as far and as fast as they could, but Meddy can’t bear to let her family down. Even when they try to control every part of her life.
But then Ma sets her up on a blind date with a creep and Meddy accidentally kills him in self-defense. She turns to the women who raised her for help, her Ma and Aunties. But tomorrow there’s a billionaire island wedding that will skyrocket their business to fame. They need to be on a boat in a few short hours, ready to organize the wedding of the century. That’s hardly time to dispose of a body properly. But it’s okay, because the Aunties have a plan. What could possibly go wrong?
This book is a must-read for writers because it breaks all the rules we stress over. It’s completely implausible, packed with coincidence and chaos, and has plot holes big enough to hide a body. It’s messy and chaotic.
And it’s FABULOUS.
Dial A for Aunties is a romp, a heist, and a romance all rolled up in a pork dumpling. It’s Weekend at Bernie’s meets Crazy Rich Asians. Each new plot twist evokes a “What!?” of disbelief. Every hijink had me laughing out loud and face-palming (which is tricky while wearing reading glasses). Every new dilemma had me turning the page, until I finished the book with bleary-eyed satisfaction after 1am.
Meddy’s arc of finding her own identity and boundaries in the face of a loving but overwhelming family is well-developed and relatable. We root for her to find her balance, and it looks much different from her cousins’ solutions of fleeing to the far side of the country. The immersive cultural details are accessible and beautifully portrayed. Don’t be fooled by the hijinks, this book has depth and heartbreak under the laughter. You just have to let go of your preconceived notions and critical eye, pop some popcorn, and throw your whole heart into this wacky, cinematic, and thoroughly enjoyable story.
For links to this and other books, visit the author’s website at https://www.jesseqsutanto.com/ . Don’t forget to request it at your public library!