Book Review: Ponti
March 1, 2019
By Sharlene Teo
Picador (Macmillan UK)
Reviewer: Sadie-Jane Nunis
Singaporean Impresses with Debut Novel
I enjoyed this thoroughly but for some reason, every time I tried to finish the last three chapters, I was interrupted by something or other which was rather annoying so I was thrilled when I finally finished it.
What I loved were the elements that Ms Teo added like the local settings and how it was like to be in secondary school, but what I enjoyed the most was the way she described things. Numerous times I read lines in the book that made me sigh happily as I was taken in by the lyrical way in which her writing flows. There are a few authors that make me react this way when reading and now I have added Ms Teo to this list.
Another interesting thing about Ponti is that there seems to be no set plot apart from the fact that evolves around three women who are ‘losers’ that are related in some way to each other and told over three eras (past, present, and future). Once a star of a B-flick horror movie Ponti, we follow Amisa (past) through her life and also learn more about her relationship with Szu, her daughter (present). Szu’s and Circe’s (future) stories are intertwined as they were once schoolmates. Most times, you will get annoyed reading about loser-type characters as they tend to be whiny however, Ms Teo, made her characters honest by making them awkward, relatable, and real. There were some awkward aspects of Szu when she was in school that I could relate to but most importantly, Ms Teo cleverly infuses her wit throughout the book that you cannot help but be hooked.
What is most impressive is one of my favourite authors, Sir Ian McEwan endorses her debut novel. Well done Ms Teo! You have won yourself a fan here too.
I spoke to Ms Teo as well. Do check out the interview by clicking this link
Copyright © 2019 Singapore Institute of Management
Article Found In
Issue 1, 2019