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Travails of a Trailing Spouse

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The adventure starts when Sarah’s husband, Jason, is offered a position at a university in Singapore. Sarah, a successful lawyer in the US, quits her job and the couple say their farewells, and, with their two children, fly off to a new country, a new condo, and a completely new life.

The country is easy enough to adapt to (though the prices of some things? Jaw-dropping!) a
Paperback, 332 pages
Published January 15th 2018 by Straits Times Press
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3.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  87 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Laura Schwartz
Feb 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
As I also moved from the US to Singapore, I freely admit to being biased when I say I found this book pretty boring. I can see why it would be interesting to people who’ve never been to Singapore or who’ve never lived abroad, but for me it was just a bland recitation of the complaints and discoveries I’ve heard expats talk about ad nauseum for the past 6 years.

I think the main issue I had was the “and then this happened” style of the plot, something that occurs when a writer draws heavily from t
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is 'life in Singapore' from the eyes of an expat. Even though it feels like the 'First World' complaints of rich wives, there is more to this book than that. With witty ends to each chapter and the internal struggles of intelligent minds this book makes you question the definition of success. Where does the feeling of being worthy arise from, is a question that is beautifully explored in this novel.
Delilah Night
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reading Travails of a Traveling Spouse was like sitting down for a good gossip with a girlfriend in Singapore. Many of the characters are familiar–whether because they resemble actual expats I’ve met, or fit the widely accepted stereotypes. It’s a breezy, enjoyable read. It is the antithesis of Crazy Rich Asians, which was a soapy take on the uber-rich of Singapore.

Chen captures, honestly and beautifully, the journey of becoming an expat when you transition from working woman to stay at home mom
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
As an expat living in Singapore, I related to many of the stories and sentiments shared in this story- particularly about losing and redefining ones identity. I thought this struggle, along with the strain it ours in relationships was well conveyed. I also admit that I enjoyed getting to know the author’s story (loosely based on real-life) a bit more as she is a new acquaintance of mine.

This book didn’t get five stars from me because of the style of narration. I didn’t find myself getting lost
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
I feel as though I just finished reading a journal of an ex-pat housewife in Singapore rather than a thought-out storyline. The whole book revolves around the mundane every-day gossip-y lives of neighbors and friends, and the exciting parts are all the new things like fines for littering, air conditioning, and helpers in Singapore. Having just been there, it’s fun to read, but from a plot perspective and character perspective, it’s not really all there to keep any real interest. Getting into a p ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kelly
Let me preface this by saying I am an expat living in Singapore (from Australia). I found this book weak. The plot was predictable, the characters were superficial and I was particularly disappointed with the way it glossed over the foreign domestic worker situation within the country.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun glimpse into the life of an expat navigating a new world after leaving behind the stability and security of home. Sarah’s story will resonate with anyone who has ever had a “What if I left my well-paying but unfulfilling job to take a chance on something?” conversation. It’ll doubly speak to any immigrant child struggling to balance the Western notion of “doing what you love” with the expectations of his/her parents, who often left behind family, friends, and their own passions to pur ...more
Paola De Sessions
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh no, it's over! That's what I thought when I finished this extremely well-written novel that touched my heart strings for various reasons. Chief among them is the quest for emotional stability, which of course, is an illusion. Some women have given up amazing careers to give their husbands and families a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; but then they find themselves with much time to ponder their own roles within their family, and the world around them. It should be a prerequisite for anyone th ...more
Amy B
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is exactly the kind of book I want to bring with me on vacation - a bit of drama and suspense, lots of laughs, and characters that feel modern and real. I tore through the pages of this book, really enjoying the character development and intertwined relationships. I loved the realistic depiction of the expat experience and fascinating perspective on moving to a place so different than home.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I found the book very relatable even though I'm a guy and have never lived abroad. The expat life is inherently interesting and it sounds like a nonstop party in spite of having kids. I also found myself wondering how much is based on real events - it is written in a way where it is hard not to believe almost everything happened.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perfect for those looking for a easy-to-read page turner! I felt like I was getting the "inside scoop" on the expat experience- crazy, but still full of the realities of family life. The characters are well-written and complex, yet relatable.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Light read, some what relatable to my expat experience. Quite boring in parts hence why it took so long to read.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was a bit of deja vu - most of these scenarios are found on the expat wives' FB pages online - could have saved myself the $18.50.
Michelle Reeb
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am biased since I have been an expat wife for a while now. It's a very entertaining book that still showcases the real social issues that families face who choose this lifestyle.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an account of a quite common new expat experience in Singapore. For many new arrivals under 40, it’s like being in college again — the good and the bad.
Sara Watson
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Reads a little too much like a memoir of a trailing spouse (which I understand the book started as) and thus offers flat characters and a sagging story arc. Unfortunately limited in its narrow vision of expat life with little room for reflection about the political economy that makes that privileged lifestyle possible. Could there have been a male trailing spouse character? Why can’t the main character continue to meet her Chinese expat volunteer friend for coffee, if that makes them feel more c ...more
rated it it was amazing
Aug 29, 2018
rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2018
rated it liked it
May 20, 2018
Rusan Yazicioglu
rated it it was ok
Apr 13, 2019
Rahmat Gobel
rated it really liked it
Mar 21, 2018
rated it liked it
Jan 24, 2019
Brenda Robson
rated it really liked it
May 18, 2018
rated it it was ok
Jan 04, 2019
Wendy Leung-Baumann
rated it liked it
Jun 13, 2018
Jun 18, 2018 rated it liked it
a light and fluffy "popcorn" read, which was what I wanted for a "convalescing" read. an enjoyable enough sorta-voyeuristic ride into life of an expat wife here, even if it's a "skimming the surface" account. Almost always interesting/fun to read books written by i) citizens with Singapore as the backdrop, ii) a visitor who has briefly spent time here or iii) a visitor who has since considered the island home.
Apr 18, 2019 is currently reading it
Loved it. Just a totally fun book to read, loved Chen (main character), loved pretending I was in Singapore... Is there a sequel?
rated it liked it
Mar 04, 2019
Erin Kerwood
rated it it was ok
Mar 25, 2019
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