We’ve all received one in the mail or on-line, perhaps you’ve sent one out. I’m talking about those end of the year Holiday letters filled with family news and photos. They’re usually about perfect families that your own family will never ever measure up to. Well, it’s that time of the year, when you may be thinking about writing yours.

That’s the premise in Monica McInerney’s latest novel, HELLO FROM THE GILLESPIES (NAL). Angela Gillespie has created the family’s Christmas letter for the past thirty-three years. It’s filled with lovely news about family life in the outback with hubby Nick, her Australian Mr. Darcy, the three daughters scattered around the globe, twins Genevieve and Victoria, Lindy and son, Ig. Initially Angela is stuck writing this years letter, so her friend, Joan suggests as a warm-up, sitting back and writing the truth, which she does … intended for her eyes only. STOP THE PRESS! Don’t print that! But before that letter gets deleted, its sent out into cyberspace! Ooops!

“Your latest “Hello From the Gillespies” or as you should have called it, your “Bombshells from the Gillespies.'”
Joan, what can I do? Is there a way of sucking emails back to their original computer. Like putting a vacuum cleaner on reverse?

That’s only the beginning of the Gillespie family troubles.

This is the first time I’ve read anything by Australian author, Monica McInerney. She’s written ten previous novels, including a collection of short stories. I was excited to start this novel, but about a third into it, the pace dramatically slowed. I believe much of that had to do with the editing; the book is too long. I look forward to reading one of Monica’s other novels, because I enjoy how she writes dialogue among family members and she has a very subtle sense of humor, which I appreciate.

Thanks to Netgalley http://www.netgalley.com and Penguin Books http://www.penguin.com for providing a kindle copy for an honest review. Check out http://www.monicamcinerney.com for all things MONICA. Go to http://www.cindyroesel.com to see more of my reviews.

HELLO FROM THE GILLESPIES will be published Tuesday, November 4th. Pre-order your copy now.



  1. I read and reviewed this book, and felt the same way. I was about 40% in, and it started to remind me of a soap opera! It did get better again at the end, but the middle third was not necessary.


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