Over the long weekend, I read a breezy and entertaining novel, Keep Me Posted, by Lisa Beazley, a fellow American writer in Singapore. In it, Singapore-based luddite Sid challenges her New York City-living, social media-obsessed sister Cassie to write real, old-fashioned letters to one another, rather than use email or Facebook to stay in touch. But hijinks ensue and their heartfelt and confessional letters become an internet sensation. Keep me Posted was a quick read (admittedly, I read fast) and I appreciated Beazley’s witty observations on motherhood.
But despite the flap copy, Singapore isn’t a character in the book, but only serves as the exotic backdrop to this lighthearted novel about sisterhood and marriage. And after a slew of reading expat novels, I’ve come to realize that this seems to be par for the course. These foreign locations are insignificant to the plot, and merely serve as color for our, in this case, white protagonists. Beasley also relies on stock characters of the genre: philandering husbands, Bali-jaunting wives, must-be-saved foreign domestic workers (“helpers”).
Keep Me Posted makes no claim of being literary, and was exactly the sort of candy floss novel I needed this weekend.
Read this informative interview with Lisa on Wall Street Journal‘s Expat blog, a hub for expatriates and global nomads with stories about expat living (housing, education, healthcare), expat jobs, and managing finances abroad.