Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McInerney

I was happily reading thinking this book is going to be good. We have a nice mix of characters, some a little whacky. We have one point of view, which I love! I just hate head jumping, different from head hopping. Head jumping is when the reader is jerked about willy-nilly to get the BIG picture, regardless of how it affects the story flow.

McInerney was doing a fine job pouring out the heart of Angela. It drifted very close to depressing, but still excellent writing. You could almost feel her muscles clinching, and hear her thunderous sighs. Great writing.

Then it happened. A head jump, then another, and another. Admittedly, this was done rather well because the transitions took you quite smoothly from one point of view to another. I was impressed. Okay, so we have some head jumping. I'll get over that. Maybe...

Then here comes the gratuitous sex. It really did not make much sense at that particular point in the story, then I got it, the character had zero self-control which was flagrantly exhibited in how she lost her job. Not a spoiler alert because the back cover tells you the whole family comes together, and this daughter is in New York, so somehow she has to get to Australia to a ranch, which they call stations.

No foul language so far, but we have head jumping and we have sex scenes, not graphic, but still... then we find out what's going on in the husbands head with another head jump and I gave up. Who wants to read a book that has no anticipation? In the back of your mind, you are worrying with Angela. "He can't be having an affair... can he? Surely, not. But if he is..." Then boom, you know the answer and are completely deflated. I did not read anymore.

There has to be a little drama to keep the pages turning. The build up in the first few pages of this book promised plenty of drama, and some really good writing. But, for me, it fell flat on story planning. Good character development for all the characters. Nicely done, but still fell flat on story flow.

I give it 2 stars. Good writing, bad story planning and flow. Loses this reader's interest on page 122.


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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