1. Immigrants - Singapore - Fiction
2. Americans - Singapore - Fiction
3. Singaporean fiction (English)
Travails of a Trailing Spouse by Stephanie Suga Chen, a US expatriate based in Singapore, is a work of fiction that opens with Sarah, a successful but unhappy lawyer in the US who one day gets to gleefully throw her resignation letter onto her senior partner's desk when her husband Jason, a neuroscientist, gets a job in Singapore. Sarah and Jason say their farewells and, with their two children, fly off to a new country, a new condo, and a completely new life. The country? Easy to adapt to, with familiar food and brands (at jaw-dropping prices - $15 for a bag of shredded mozzarella!) And life in the condo is like freshman year all over again, a dorm where neighbours pop by at any time to say hello, borrow a bike pump, or drink themselves silly any old night of the week. There's Carys, the teacher, and good-looking Ian; Ashley, who keeps her apartment freezingly air-conditioned round the clock, and Chad, her amiable New Zealander husband; Sara, who, like Sarah, is Asian-American, and John. The couples form a close-knit group and their evenings are soon filled with poolside barbecues, Trivia Nights, dinners, drinks and more drinks. But is it time to put the brakes on the hedonism when Jason and Chad are arrested after a pub brawl? Why, with an unbelievably fantastic lifestyle, is Sarah starting to feel listless? Why does John keep taking solo trips and when will Sara's brave front finally crack? Who's that woman with Ian in the lift? And what secret is Carys keeping from her friends? Not a simplistic, straightforward novel of one-dimensional characters, Travails of a Trailing Spouse will strike a chord with anyone, expat or not, who has ever found life more complicated, puzzling, thrilling, frustrating - and, ultimately, deliciously rich - than could ever have been imagined.