Crazy Rich Asians meets Bridget Jones’s Diary in this funny and irresistible debut novel about the pursuit of happiness, surviving one’s thirties intact, and opening oneself up to love.
At thirty-three, Andrea Tang is living the dream: she has a successful career as a lawyer, a posh condo, and a clutch of fun-loving friends who are always in the know about Singapore’s hottest clubs and restaurants. All she has to do is make partner at her law firm and she will have achieved everything she (and her mother) has ever worked for. So what if she’s poised to be the last unmarried member of her generation of the Tang clan? She doesn’t need a man to feel fulfilled, no matter what her meddling relatives have to say about it.
But for a dutiful Chinese-Malaysian daughter, the weight of familial expectations is hard to ignore. And so are the men life keeps throwing in Andrea’s path. Men like Suresh Aditparan, her annoyingly attractive rival for partner and the last man she should be spending time with, and Eric Deng, a wealthy entrepreneur whose vision for their future is more lavish than she could have imagined. With her workplace competition growing ever more intense, her friends bringing dramas of their own to her door, and her family scrutinizing her every romantic prospect, Andrea finds herself stretched to the breaking point. And she can’t help but wonder: In the endless tug-of-war between pleasing others and pleasing herself, is there room for everyone to win?
Thank you Times Reads for sending me a review copy of Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho. To be honest, rom-com is totally not a genre that I will pick up. When I see the “Crazy Rich Asians” tagline in the introduction to this book, I have my doubts as I dislike Crazy Rich Asians (sorry to all Kevin Kwan’s fans). But since Lauren is a fellow Malaysian, as well as an ex-lawyer who now ventures into the realm of writing, I decided to give this a try to show some support for local authors. And I definitely did not regret this decision.
Last Tang Standing is about Andrea Tang, a senior lawyer, who is aiming to become a partner in one of the largest law firm in Singapore. As expected, Andrea’s life is all about work. However, to her family, this is not sufficient as she is expected to marry or at least have a decent partner at her age. Being single at 33 is definitely a sin in an Asian family. We basically followed Andrea’s journey in dealing with her family (which holds strongly to traditional values), her work life, as well as finding the “right person” that she will spend her life with.
I understand that this plot line is a predictable and common plot line for rom-coms. However, behind the facade of rom-com, Last Tang Standing features a lot of Chinese traditional values in whereby a lot of Chinese families are still holding on to them strongly in this 21st century. It also features the cycle of adulting whereby we are all trapped in such cycle: graduate, find a good job so that you can pay off your bills and commitments, work hard in order to be promoted so that you can pay for more bills and more commitments. Such cycle just kills off all the passion that we have in life and sometimes we just hate growing up. Last Tang Standing also featured the heavy reliance on technology, especially social media and dating apps, by the new generation.
Most importantly, this book is so so FUNNY and SARCASTIC at times! Lauren’s talent in comedy writing is definitely a highlight in this book. I really laughed out loud a lot of times when I’m reading this book. It is such a fun and enjoyable read! Andrea’s character is very engaging and fun to read. After reading a few pages of this book I thought I will only be rating this a 6/10 star. But I did not expect this to be that FUNNY! Last Tang Standing totally deserves a strong 8/10 star rating!
Last Tang Standing will officially be released on 9 June 2020! For those who just want an escape from the tedious work life, you must pick up this book for a humorous reading experience!