Angela Gillespie has the perfect life…or at least it is according to her annual Christmas letter. And, for the most part, she has felt happy with her choices. But something has gone awry in the past year or so, leading to strange inexplicable feelings that suddenly come tumbling out as she types her annual letter. What if she told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but?
Thirty years on a sheep station in Australia was not the life she had planned.
Why is Nick shut away in his office all the time? Who is Carol and why are they Skyping continuously about the Gillespie family reunion in Ireland? Why is Nick obsessed with sorting out his family tree? And why is Angela suddenly imagining the life she might have had? If only.
In the midst of her cathartic letter, an emergency happens, and she leaves it on the computer, unsent.
What occurs next will lead to a rollicking and sometimes painful aftermath, when something totally unplanned turns into unimaginable consequences. Helpful hubby decides to send it (without reading it, of course).
And now, each of her three oldest children have had meltdowns of various kinds and ended up back at home, Twins Victoria and Genevieve have their own special communications and exclude their younger sister Lindy, much to her chagrin. Her whininess is unbelievably annoying, and as she sits sewing cushions and imagining her success, she becomes more than a little bit adolescent-like. Young Ig, who is ten, is the only one who truly should be behaving as a child, but he has a precocious nature that makes him seem odd to the others. And he has an imaginary friend.
Hello From the Gillespies feels like a family saga as it unfolds in layers and as we watch the characters deal with the lives they ended up with and as they learn to make the best of things. But then tragedy truly does strike, and everything does change even more in ways that none of them could have anticipated.
A story that takes the reader away into family moments they might recognize, with the sibling rivalries and sparring to the gradually changing relationships between the parents, and we also see how life chisels away at the bonds until it will take something dramatic to bring them all back to one another. Five stars.