Culture Street

By Sophia Whitfield

Hello from the Gillespies is a heartfelt family drama from bestselling author Monica McInerney.

Angela Gillespie sends out her Christmas newsletter to one hundred of her friends and family every year on 1 December. After her youngest son has an accident and she has to rush him to hospital, her husband Nick sees her newsletter open on the computer and decides to keep with tradition by sending it out on behalf of his wife at exactly midnight.

Every year her newsletter is full of the stories of life on their property in South Australia. She gives details of her childrenís lives and their recent accolades. Lately life hasnít been quite as easy as she had hoped. Her twin daughters, both in their early thirties, have had their private lives unceremoniously unveiled in the media. Her daughter Lindy is debt ridden and youngest son Ig has invented an imaginary friend to keep him company. The three daughters have all returned home for Christmas.

With her family is disarray, Angela is unsure how to begin her annual Christmas newsletter. She decides for once to be honest. It is a cathartic exercise to get the worst of the dramas off her chest. She never meant for the newsletter to be sent. Her children all arrive home just after the newsletter has been sent and just before the neighbourhood party the Gillespies are about to throw. No one is looking forward to the party.

McInerney is a masterful storyteller with a perceptive understanding of family drama. Hello from the Gillespies is a fantastic read, packed full of lovable characters.

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