Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McInerney
Release date: 11/04/14 by Penguin Group/Signet
Rating: * * * *
The truth shall set you free.
The Gillespies are not having a good year. Angela Gillespie avoids the usual sugarcoating in her annual Christmas missive, opting instead for flat truth. The resulting unintended consequences create a humorous, touching story.
We could all benefit from a friend as loyal and practical as Joan. Ig is a great kid, my favorite person throughout the story. Between the two of them, they fiercely shield Angela from the backlash of telling it like it is. Joan makes clear the expectation that each person (including Angela) will take responsibility for their own choices.
I was taken aback at the length of the book: it shouldn’t take 600+ pages to tell a story. However, I found the book easy to read, not necessarily a quick read but the story moves right along in a satisfying progression. I will look for more by this author.
Thank you to Penguin/Signet and NetGalley for the Advance Reader Copy I received in exchange for a review.
Quiet Magic by Sam Cook, with illustrations by Bob Cary
University of Minnesota Press
This book is exactly what it promises: quiet and magical. It’s a collection of stories and essays the author wrote for the Duluth News-Tribune, grouped by season. Each piece is 2-4 pages in the book: a nice little morsel.
Each piece is 2-4 pages of observations and experiences related to the north country, the people to be found there, hunting and fishing, canoeing, etc. Cook’s gentle humor and perception make for a delightful few minutes of reading per story.
I find myself continually returning to Loomis Lips for the chuckle factor. Without spoiling it, I’ll just note that it’s about human nature. Oh, and fish.
The coffeemaker I have used since 1995 gave up the ghost today.
Thank you for your patience during my absence. I’ve been making hay as the sun shines, as it were.
Back soon with more reviews. Current readings address topics as diverse as an all-girls polka band, a canoe trip down the Mississippi, short stories by Western writers, and a soldier suffering from both PTSD and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).