Friday, January 9, 2015

Quick Pick: Hello from the Gillespies, by Monica McInerney

  • Opening lines: It was December first. Angela Gillespie did as she'd done on that date for the past thirty-three years. She sat down at her desk before dinner and prepared to write her annual Christmas letter.
  • Reason I picked up the book: I usually like novels about dysfunctional families, and the synopsis sounded interesting.
  • And what's this book about?
  • For the past thirty-three years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled “Hello from the Gillespies.” It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself—she tells the truth....

    The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be. Her husband is coping badly with retirement. Her thirty-two-year-old twins are having career meltdowns. Her third daughter, badly in debt, can’t stop crying. And her ten-year-old son spends more time talking to his imaginary friend than to real ones.

    Without Angela, the family would fall apart. But when a bump on the head leaves Angela with temporary amnesia, the Gillespies pull together—and pull themselves together—in wonderfully surprising ways....
  • Favorite paragraph: 
What was happening to her tonight? She'd never taken this long to write her Christmas letter. Or written as much.

She began to read it back. Not even halfway through, she stopped, shocked. She couldn't possibly send out even a word of this. Anyone who read it would think that she'd gone mad. That her children were unhinged. That she and Nick were on the verge of divorce. That everything she'd been writing about Gillespie family life for the past thirty-three years was a life.

And it wasn't, was it?
  • Recommended for: Anyone who likes a good read, really.
  • Something to know: I didn't know before I started reading it that it's about 600 pages long - I read it on Kindle and it certainly didn't seem that long, as I was flying through it. Might be something to consider if you are a slow reader or have the paperback version, though.
  • What I would have changed: Nothing I can think of - in fact, this would make a great movie too, in my opinion.
  • Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I buy this book? Click here.

    *Disclosure: I received an e-galley of this book from NetGalley. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


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