As the title of Lauren Ho's clear-sighted sophomore novel states in no uncertain terms, Lucie Yi is not a romantic. She's Lucie Yi: in control, with a career in management consulting, good health and friends and family who support her. She's also absolutely miserable, crying over other people's babies and longing for one of her own despite her perpetually single status. So she does what any practical non-romantic person would do, and decides to find a co-parent with whom to have a baby--but definitely, absolutely, not a relationship. Urged on by her friends, Lucie sets up a profile on a "Tinder for would-be parents," where she is quickly matched with Collin Read, who agrees to move from New York to Singapore for "elective co-parenting"--no romantic strings attached.
But as the friendship between the two grows deeper, forged without the "faux mystery" of early dating, the no-romance part of their agreement starts to fray, leaving Lucie to grapple with the question of what it is she really wants for her child--and herself. It is in this growth that Ho (Last Tang Standing) showcases her proficiency at character building, as Lucie comes into her own as a woman, a mother and a partner in a novel that celebrates a woman's ability to forge her own path. In the evolution of Collin and Lucie's relationship, Lucie Yi Is Not a Romantic poses big questions about what--and who--makes a family. Ho's writing is as practical as Lucie herself, decoupling the concept of parenting from that of romance in ways that shed new light on both topics, independently and together. --Kerry McHugh, freelance writer