Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McInerney; Penguin Group ISBN 978-0-451-46672-3

Angela Gillespie had been sending an annual Christmas letter for many years.  As Hello from the Gillespies, by Monica McInerney, opens Angela tries to work on the letter, but this year is different as she can’t find anything cheery to write about.  Her adult twin daughters have both experienced professional and personal difficulties, another daughter is struggling to make her own way, her ten year old son is a bit peculiar and her husband of over thirty years has distanced himself from her.  She proceeds to compose a letter she has no intention of sending. It is totally honest and details  the real mess which now describes her family. Unbeknownst to her, the letter does get sent to all one hundred people on her mailing list.  Her family eventually gets around to reading it and they are mortified at their mother’s words detailing their lives.  They aren’t the only ones who are mortified.  Angela doesn’t know how the letter got sent and she doesn’t know how to deal with the fall out.  The letter takes on a life of its own as recipients start to forward it to others.  People love her honesty and candor.

While the letter is comparable to a bombshell, there is much more to this novel. The author has crafted a marvelous multi layered  story about what it means to be part of this family, especially when a near tragedy occurs. The reader is given the opportunity to get to know the well developed and full of personality characters.  Their relationships with each other are intriguing.  They maintain their self identities without jeopardizing their bonds.  As for the results of this particular letter- I recommend reading this book.

I found this to a totally satisfying book to read.  The author is a gifted story teller and this book is worth reading.

I received this book free of charge from NetGalley and I give this review of my own free will.

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