Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today’s featured book is an ARC from Amazon Vine, from an author that is new to me:  Hello from the Gillespies, by Monica McInerney.






Intro:  It was December first.  Angela Gillespie did as she’d done on that date for the past thirty-three years.  She sat down at her desk before dinner and prepared to write her annual Christmas letter.

After doing so many, she had the process down to a fine art.  It was a matter of leafing through her diary to recall the year’s main events, writing an update about each member of the family—herself, her husband and their four children—attaching a photo or two, then sending it off.

She’d written her first Christmas letter the same year she was married.  Transformed from single traveler Angela Richardson of Forest Hill, London, to newlywed Mrs. Nick Gillespie of Errigal, a sheep station in outback South Australia, she couldn’t have been further from her old life, in distance or lifestyle.  She’d decided an annual letter was the best way of keeping in contact with her friends and relatives back home.  As the years went by, she’d added Nick’s relatives, their neighbors and her new Australian friends to the mailing list.  It now went to more than a hundred people worldwide.


Teaser:  Angela was in her pottery studio.  She’d been there for the past hour, ever since she’d reread her letter.  She wasn’t working.  She was hiding. (p.118).


Blurb:  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…


I was first drawn to this book by the memories of those Christmas letters I used to receive from friends…usually the people weren’t all that close, and the letters always sounded as though the families depicted in them were perfect, with flawless lives.  Of course I knew that couldn’t be, but sometimes, we see what people want us to see.

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?



    1. Thanks, Cleopatra…I know that nobody writes missives of any kind any more…or very few do, but I got a chuckle when I remembered the ones we used to get. And how they made me feel. “Less than.” I think it’s a great premise, and I hope you enjoy it, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love the intro and the cover. I also love receiving those annual Christmas letters where friends I don’t see update you on the past year.

    By the way the cover reminds me of a book that I enjoyed —http://www.amazon.com/Long-Walk-Home-Novel/dp/0307383024/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-2&qid=1411468347


    1. I love the cover, too, Diane…and the premise of this book. I hadn’t even thought of those Christmas letters, which I never get anymore! But I remember them well. Very popular from the 50s-80s, I think. I can’t even remember the last letter of any kind that I got! Thanks for stopping by, and for hosting….


  2. Oh my gosh – this one made me laugh! My cousins used to collect the most ridiculous Xmas letters they received and we’d read them over and over. Our favorites were the ones where all the kids were geniuses, going to Ivy league colleges, athletes of the year, star cellist…you get my meaning here. Thankfully, the internet has made these things a bit obsolete! But, I like this whole theme about depicting perfect lives to brag to your friends and then finally coming clean. I’d keep reading…


    1. Yes, and only a few people I knew sent them, and sometimes I was annoyed at how the letters did not feel like a real connection….and I guess it was because everyone got the same letter. Nothing personal there. And…fake! Thanks for stopping by, Catherine.


  3. I love the cover of this one! And it sounds like something I might like.

    I used to write Christmas letters to catch up those far away out of touch relatives and friends–now I just send picture cards. I never went in for the “perfect family” letters though as I always had something bad happen worth mentioning. LOL


    1. I never sent the “perfect letters” either, but I often sent the picture card. And none of my three sons would ever look perfect; one even had cut part of his own bangs before the picture taking…LOL. Nothing perfect there! Thanks for visiting, Wendy.


  4. I would keep reading, for all the reasons listed by those before me. I have finally quit writing Christmas letters, but I still like receiving them. How else can I remember all my cousin’s kid and grandkids! 🙂


    1. I would love to receive letters again…so delightful! I can’t remember the last one I got. But it’s been decades since I receive a Christmas letter. I like the sound of this one, too, jkb…and thanks for stopping by.


    1. Yes, I think my memory went to a specific place, too…I thought about this couple (when I was first married) whose life looked so perfect, from the decor in their home to their Christmas letters. Hmm, wonder what their REAL life looked like…

      Thanks for stopping by, Madame Vauquer…and the letters are delightful, aren’t they?


  5. What exactly is she hiding from? Maybe everyone found out about the letter? I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I do like the idea of sending out letters and letting people know who you’re doing. Considering she’s going to reveal everything to everyone I think I’d read this.

    Great teaser!


Please leave your thoughts. Comments, not awards, feed my soul. Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.