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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn Lynch

Book Review: Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

I can only describe this as Weekend at Bernies meets Crazy Rich Asians, and if that sounds amusing to you, you’re going to find this an absolute hoot. Meddeline Chan, the heroine, is the only daughter of four Indonesian-Chinese sisters living in California, and the only child not to leave home and move far, far away. Meddy even works in the family business, wedding photographer while her mother and aunts handle cakes, makeup, flowers and entertainment for said weddings.

When her mother impersonates Meddy on a dating site and sets her up with a blind date things go badly wrong. Ma’s poor English leads to the blind date expecting a lot more than Meddy’s prepared to deliver, and in defending herself, the guy ends up dead. In a panic, and quite possibly concussed, Meddy does the only thing she can think of - she goes home, turning to her beloved aunties to sort things out.

From which point, things go utterly and completely insane, and you’re going to have to suspend your disbelief at least somewhat, and accept that security cameras don’t exist at a super-luxury resort, and that an autopsy doesn’t get done on a dead guy that would show he died quite a lot earlier than the carefully crafted narrative explains.

Meddy’s old flame turning out to be the manager of the wedding resort introduces a real romantic interest for her, and certain wedding guests getting up to nefarious shenanigans means nothing was ever going to run smoothly even without a dead body to deal with. It’s hilarious, a wild ride, poignant at times, and honestly I’m really looking forward to the Netflix adaptation now.

Five stars for a wonderful read full of family shenanigans.

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