Dial A For Aunties By Jesse Q. Sutanto: Book’s Review & Summary

dial a for aunties

Have you ever needed a quick fix to a family problem? Maybe calling your aunties is the right solution, but what if your job is on the line? That’s exactly the dilemma that the main character, Meddy, faces in the novel Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q Sutanto.

The Story and its Author

Jesse Q Sutanto is an Indonesian-American author who has written several books, but this one stands out for its unique blend of humor, family drama, and suspense. The story follows the mishaps of fictional character Meddy Chen, whose day job as a wedding photographer is put in jeopardy when she accidentally kills her blind date. Desperate for a solution, Meddy calls upon her four wacky aunties, who all pitch in to help dispose of the body and save Meddy’s career.

Main Themes and Ideas

One of the main themes in Dial A For Aunties is the importance of family and community. Meddy’s aunties come to her aid in her hour of need, proving that blood is truly thicker than water. Another theme that emerges is the power of tradition, as the aunties employ ancient Chinese remedies to solve their problems.

At its core, the novel is a comedy, but it also deals with serious issues like love, loss, and forgiveness. The complex relationship between Meddy and her mother, for example, is one of the book’s more poignant moments.

Critical Evaluation

Sutanto’s writing style is sharp, witty, and full of surprising twists and turns. She has a gift for comedic timing, and her characters are all well-rounded and engaging. The plot moves at a brisk pace, and the tension builds to a satisfying climax.

However, some readers may find the humor a bit over-the-top or the plot a tad fantastical. The aunties, for all their charm, may seem a bit larger than life, and the resolution of the story borders on the unbelievable.

Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the novel’s strengths is its diverse cast of characters. Meddy and her family are of Indonesian-Chinese descent, and the book includes representations of other cultures as well. The humor is also a strength, as it provides a refreshing break from all the heaviness in the world today.

On the other hand, the book’s weaknesses may lie in its lack of depth. While the themes are intriguing, they are not developed in a way that leaves a lasting impact on the reader. Some may also find the humor to be too superficial or the characters to be caricatures rather than fully realized individuals.

Comparison to Other Works

Dial A For Aunties is a unique novel that stands out in its genre as a blend of comedy and mystery. It shares some similarities with other comedic thrillers like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series or Carl Hiaasen’s Tourist Season, but it also has a fresh voice and perspective that sets it apart.


In the end, Dial A For Aunties is a fun and entertaining read that will have you laughing out loud and rooting for the characters. While it may not be a literary masterpiece, it is a testament to the power of love, family, and tradition, and a reminder that sometimes the best solutions to our problems lie in the people closest to us.


What is Meddy’s job?

Meddy is a wedding photographer.

What is the relationship between Meddy and her mother?

Meddy and her mother have a complicated relationship. Her mother is overbearing and critical, and their interactions are fraught with tension.

Who are the aunties?

The aunties are Meddy’s four eccentric aunts who all live together and are known for their unique skills and personalities.

Is there a sequel to the book?

At this time, there is no sequel planned for Dial A For Aunties.

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