Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Christmas Letter that Goes Terribly Wrong

Angela is writing her traditional Christmas letter. As with most Christmas letters, her's is usually filled with a smiling family and all their achievements. This year is different. Things seem to be going wrong. Her husband is withdrawn, her daughters are having a variety of troubles, and her son has an imaginary friend that he prefers to real people. She is frustrated and lets of steam in her Christmas letter. She never intended to send it, but when she's called away on
an emergency, her husband sees it on her computer and sends it.

The family is not pleased with having their troubles exposed to the world. The situation is chaotic. As the problems of the various family members surface, the book becomes a drawn out saga of the family coping with challenges and tragedy. In the end, the family members change in positive ways, but it takes a long time to bring about the resolution, perhaps because there are so many characters whose stories contribute to the family dynamic.

The book is well written and life on a sheep farm in Australia is fascinating, but it is quite long, If you enjoy family sagas, you'll enjoy meeting the Gillespies. The book is filled with moments that any family can recognize, although perhaps not as dramatically. I enjoyed the book, but unless you're up for a long visit, this is not a book I'd recommend.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.