Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: 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…...

Paperback, 624 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by NAL Trade 
 (ebook provided from publisher via netgalley)

I started reading the ebook and was enjoying it, then Audible recommended the audio book.  I had a little listen to the sample, couldn't resist and proceeded to download it right away.  Ulli Birve is the reader, who is a new one to me as is the author Monica McInerney.  There is but one word that comes to mind about the performance of this audio and that is brilliant.  With her accents and slight changes in tone I was immersed in this book.  This isn't a small book, coming in at 624 pages and over 16 hours in audio format.

I liked that the author introduces the family in the first chapters of this book.  Told from different pov's it was easy to get to know them and all their quirks.

I loved the setting of this book, South Australia, an outback sheep station (minus the sheep).  The authors descriptions had me visualizing so much and even the figures of speech were charming.

Though the story begins with that Christmas letter, there is more to this story.  Its about family, friendship, loyalty, trust, sibling rivalry and more.  I will admit a couple times I felt it was getting a little long, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment.  There were times I laughed, cried, laughed again all in one paragraph. Part of me thinks that somehow cutting this book in half and turning it into a series would be nice, I've connected with this family and would love to read more about them.

Thank you to Penguin for introducing me to a new author, one that I am sure to read more of.

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