Greetings to our readers for the New Year!
Our staff book club read the latest novel by Monica McInerney just before Christmas and we had a lovely meeting to discuss it in a local hostelry just after we finished for the holidays.
Angela, a student from England, finds herself working in a bar in Sydney in her early twenties, whilst travelling. One hot, sultry evening, as she works a shift on behalf of a friend, in walks Nick Gillespie, a young, strong, handsome sheep farmer who has come into town. They get talking and quickly realise that they are meant to be together. Angela moves to his farm, leaving her English life behind and they begin a very happy married life together. Until, that is, some thirty odd years later, when Angela sends out her annual Christmas letter, or rather Nick does by mistake! Usually this is the first of the Christmas rituals, a task which records the happiest and most exciting events of the family’s year, and now sent out by email on 1st December… This year things have changed and the letter is not the same cheery affair as has been the case, indeed, it has been a year wracked with difficulties and worries, and Angela feels encouraged by a friend to be honest and truthful about the state of the family and its affairs… This is perhaps the real Christmas newsletter which we would all like to write! She had meant to save it and not send it out, but when she is distracted by her son’s accident in the kitchen, Nick decides to send it instead, thinking he is doing her a favour, without first reading it himself. The resulting effects are devastating: heart-breaking and shocking for family and friends, who had no idea about the realities of life and its concerns on the farm. To discover whether the family can reunite and move to resolve their problems, you must read this book!
We enjoyed it enormously, so perhaps you will too.