I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for reviewing it. This review reflects only my personal opinions.
The Gillespies live on a sheep station in the wilds of the Australian outback. Life has been pretty good for this family of Angela and Nick, and their four children, 30-something twins Genevieve and Victoria, 20-something Lindy, and 9 year old son, Iggy. Picture perfect, right?
Every year, Angela writes a bubbly Christmas letter, always framing family activities in a positive light. But this year things have not been going to well. The girls are each struggling with their careers and Iggy's imaginary friend has returned. Angela is concerned about whether or not her husband still loves her, and Nick is depressed about losing all his sheep during the drought and selling mineral rights to a drilling company. As Angela sits down to write this year's letter, she just can't muster the bubbles, and spews out all the pain and frustration she has been feeling but not admitting to herself. As she is about to delete it, Lindy starts screaming in the kitchen. Angela races out of the office only to find Iggy covered in blood holding his hand and his index finger on the floor.
After a rush to the local hospital and a helicopter ride to the big city hospital, Iggy's finger is reattached in a long surgery. Angela stays at the hospital with Iggy.
Nick goes into the office and sees the Christmas letter border on the computer screen and decides to help out Angela, and sends the letter to her Christmas letter group.
With all the holiday hullabaloo, and the twins returning home for an extended stay, the letter is forgotten. As one by one. each person begins to realize the letter is causing unusual responses from friends and family, chaos ensues.
It is a story of what it means to be family, and how important it is to communicate, and how some of our worst quirks can be the flip side of our greatest gifts. It is a great holiday read. It is an interesting look at life in the outback. And it is a lesson in moving from chaos to even keel. I will definitely be looking for other books by Monica McInerney.