Sunday, November 9, 2014

Wicked Reads Reviews – Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McInerney

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 Angela is taken away from them in a most unexpected manner, the Gillespies pull together—and pull themselves together—in wonderfully surprising ways…

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Phenomenal. That is the only word I could find big enough to describe this book. Hello from the Gillespies is phenomenal.

The author introduces us to 55 year old Angela, wife, mother of 4 children and business woman. Angela writes her traditional Christmas letter this year with brutal honesty never intending to send it. When her well-meaning husband clicks send on the email, the family secrets are emailed to 100 people, the story takes off.

We see the lives of each member of the family from their point of view. This allows us to connect with each character and understand them and their place in the family. When the tragedy we know is coming strikes, the results are surprising.

The author creates great drama and tension but there is also plenty of good humour. This is a journey about change, love, growing up, moving on and family. This is one of the best books I've read this year. A must read.

This is a really good book. It tells an interesting story, in a slightly different way, and has a host of entertaining characters to befriend. At times I felt it could have moved along a little quicker, but at the same time I savoured every bit. Anyone could read this story and find elements that they could associate with; each role in the family is explored, each person has their say.

I highly recommend this book - it reminded me that whether you live in the Outback, or the UK, families and what make them tick are both the same, and yet quintessentially unique.

Monica McInerney is the internationally bestselling author of eleven novels including Hello from the Gillespies, The House of Memories, Lola's Secret, At Home with the Templetons, Family Baggage, The Alphabet Sisters and Those Faraday Girls (which was named the General Fiction Book of the Year in the 2008 Australian Book Industry Awards.).

Monica, 49, grew up in a family of seven children in the Clare Valley wine region of South Australia, where her father was the railway stationmaster and her mother worked in the local library. Before becoming a full-time writer she worked in children’s television, tourism festivals, book publishing, arts marketing, the music industry and as a waitress, a hotel cleaner, a Kindergym instructor and a temp. For the past twenty-three years she and her Irish husband have been moving back and forth between Australia and Ireland. They currently live in Dublin. – Goodreads bio

Connect with Monica

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McInerney to read and review.

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