Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Review: Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McInerney
Read from September 28 to October 01, 2014
Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was really surprised at how quickly I finished Hello From the Gillespies, considering it was 600+ pages long. I'm not one to be daunted by long books, but it does usually take a few days to finish them. This one, however, just begged to be read. I couldn't wait to get home from work just so I could read more of it. It's been quite a while since I've been that eager to finish a book.
Angela Gillespie sends her annual Christmas letter to her friends and family every year on December 1st. It always paints a pleasant, if not entirely accurate, picture of a perfect family. This year, however, Angela tells the truth, and while the recipients of the letter are amused and intrigued, her immediate family is definitely not. No one is spared the bitter truth - not even her ten-year old son, Ig. In addition to dealing with her persistent headaches, she also has to worry about her family - her three adult daughters have just returned home after having their own meltdowns, and her husband has become gradually distant. She never intends to actually send the email, but in a stroke of bad luck, it's sent anyway. Her children come to terms with it fairly quickly, but it does nothing to help her reconcile with her husband.
I don't want to say too much more, as I think the plot twists involved are better left unspoiled, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was truly invested in these characters, and wanted everything to work out for all of the Gillespies in the end. In a cast of characters this large, it's sometimes hard to keep everyone straight, especially at the beginning, but that was never a problem with Hello From the Gillespies.
Set in the Australian outback, Monica McInerney does an incredible job of describing the landscape. I feel as though I've seen a picture of the Gillespies' station, as it seems almost indelibly fixed in my memory.
I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in contemporary novels dealing with the complexities of familial relationships.
Rating (out of five stars):
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Monica McInerney's website