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12.04.2012

A Review: Gillespie and I by Jane Harris


It's been a minute. Apologies. Thanksgiving was crazy. And then I had to deal with my birthday and then J's birthday and time spent in a cabin in the woods in the middle of nowhere without WIFI and phone service. We watched Cash Cab marathons, Rocky III and Ghost Adventures (I CAN'T EVEN). We played scrabble and microwaved s'mores and huddled next to the fake fire (which was oh so warm). It was AWESOME. I didn't want to come home, but here I am.

Gillespie and I is the story of Harriet Baxter's relationship with the Gillespie family, specifically, her relationship with Ned Gillespie, an aspiring artist who fails to receive the credit that Harriet feels he deserves. When Harriet manages to save Ned's mother from choking on her dentures one day on a crowded Glasgow street corner, she slowly forms a connection with the family and becomes a regular body in their household. When an event turns the family's life upside down, Harriet is there to witness the situation that will change everything.

I read Gillespie and I right before the celebrations began. If you remember, I think I've mentioned how excited I was to pick this one up in a million posts prior to this one. Let me just say that my fervor did not kill the experience. This book is one of my top reads of the year.

I've found (like so many others) that I have a much easier time reviewing books that I dislike rather than the ones I adore. I actually mentioned this a bit in my last post. However, with this one it's imperative to keep it short and sweet so you enjoy it just as much as I did. Really, to enjoy it thoroughly, you have to be open to anything.

First and foremost, I want to say that Harris blew me away with her characters - so vivid that I felt I knew them. The setting and cast were well developed making it a tight story with a big impact. While I didn't expect a story that would keep my guessing, I found I couldn't put it down in order to get to the next part. I wanted it to last forever but knew I'd reach the end and want more. Harriet's character is so very curious and found myself moving through emotions quickly.

If you're looking for a well-written novel, with some historical tidbits tossed in, that also keeps you guessing, you must find a copy of Gillespie and I now! I'm generally not so heavy handed with my reviews, so this is an indication of my confidence that you'll love it, too. If you don't... well, we can still be friends, but I'll be just a little sad. Hope you enjoy!

P.S. Happy Holidays!

15 comments:

  1. I have to read this one. It sounds so good! I love that she became a part of their family after saving Ned's mom from choking on her dentures - for some reason I find that funny. How awful is that? Anyhow, you make this book sound unputdownable and I'm excited to read it now. As for watching Ghost Adventures - creepy! I can't watch any of those Ghost shows because they just freak me out. You are brave ;)

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  2. Yes, the incident is quite funny. I think it's actually the absurdity of this one event that makes everything after seem so crazy. Ghost Adventures is not scary. At all. I'm talking lamest of the lame for show hosts. The guy wears cargo pants tucked into military boots and wears super tight shirts because he has a six pack. He frequently yells out "bro" and what not when trying to "speak" to the ghosts. Very funny to watch based on this alone.

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  3. Yay, so glad you loved it as much as I did. I was outright shocked when this didn't make the Orange Prize shortlist earlier in the year, it's so good. Agree that Harriet's character was masterfully done - she was so creepy.

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    1. Yes, I'm really surprised it didn't make it either. Although, I think I only read one that did. So. It's so great and completely unexpected- all of it. She was definitely super creepy. I want to write the author and see what else she envisioned with the aftermath of it all. It should have kept going! Glad you liked it as well!!!

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  4. Replies
    1. Yay! It was so great! Glad to you did as well.

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  5. I'm going to put this one on my list! I don't know how it slipped under my radar because it sounds like something I'd really like. Thanks for the review!!

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    1. Yes! It's really good. I can't wait to see what you think. Hoping everyone loves it as much as I did. Very entertaining.

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  6. This sounds great. I agree with Jen--putting it on my list. Thanks!

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    1. Yes, please let me know what you think if you pick it up soon! Loved it!!

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  7. I've read it a couple of months ago and wasn't terribly impressed, mostly because I felt it was about 1/3 too long and the first part was a bit slow. That being said, even after all this time, I'm still exchanging emails with friends about it, which is making me re-evaluate my first impressions...

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  8. Yes, I agree that the beginning is a little slow, but I understood why she included so much when everything came to a head in the end. And I just didn't want it to end. Sad you didn't enjoy it more, but I guess it does mean something if you're still talking about it. I might unravel a bit if I reread and I liked it so much the first go around that I probably won't.

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  9. Just ordered it from Amazon! Thanks Beth.

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  10. Beth, you've made this sound so good! I will definitely be adding this to my to-buy list. It's an added bonus that I love the cover :)

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  11. Ok, another book that sits on my TBR pile and continues to collect dust. You may have just given me another push! THX.

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