Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Synopsis: From the book
"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 accidentally 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 their 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 cake 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?"
When I read the description on the back of this book I wondered how Sutanto was going to pull all of these elements together and still pull it off. Well, she definitely did! Each of Meddy's aunties reminded me of my own. Although we don't really get to know them on a first name basis, Sutanto's descriptions of their reactions to the events throughout the book and how they communicate with one another really brings them to life. I love how in the midst of an accidental murder and the wedding of the season, Meddy's mom still takes pride in her daughter's manners and finds the time to serve up some tea for herself and her sisters. Somehow, Sutanto was also able to make time for the moment that must happen for most young adults when we finally realize that our parents are human and have been where we are. They have loved and grieved and survived.
While there are plenty of heart-warming moments, they are often connected to the shenanigans the family gets up to in order to "take care of" the body and somehow still do their jobs at this wedding. These scenes often made me want to crawl out of my skin, mostly because I'm not a fan of uncomfortable situations that stem from lying or deceiving people. I often had to put the book down because I got so involved in it that it gave me anxiety! Once I got about 3/4 of the way into the book, I had an easier time of managing it.
Dial A for Aunties had a lot of twists and I think that's what makes me like this book. However, the cringe comedy within it was not really my thing. I'd recommend this book to folks who enjoy films like Weekend at Bernie's or shows like Schitt's Creek.