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Synopsis: The Middlesteins meets The Virgin Suicides in this arresting family love story about the eccentric yet tightknit Simone family, coping with tragedy during 90s New York, struggling to reconnect with each other and heal.
Claudio and Mathilde Simone, once romantic bohemians hopelessly enamored with each other, find themselves nestled in domesticity in New York, running a struggling vinyl record store and parenting three daughters as best they can: Natasha, an overachieving prodigy; sensitive Lucy, with her debilitating heart condition; and Carly, adopted from China and quietly fixated on her true origins.
With prose that is as keen and illuminating as it is whimsical and luminous, debut novelist Christine Reilly tells the unusual love story of this family. Poignant and humane, Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday is a deft exploration of the tender ties that bind families together, even as they threaten to tear them apart.
Date Published: April 5, 2016
Date Read: July 2016
Number of Pages: 323
Source: Author provided a copy in exchange for an honest review
This book has this melancholic feel to it, the kind of melancholia a reader craves once in a while. It scratches a different itch that not all books could.
This book was sent to me by the author in an exchange for an honest review. From the moment I read the blurb, it instantly piqued my interest, though not really something right up my alley, but this book sounded different, it seems like it has its own gravitational pull and the reader will just fall into it like it is the most natural thing. And I did, I succumbed to it, immersed myself in the story like nothing mattered in the world, because for a moment the only thing that mattered was the lives of the characters inside this beautiful book.
Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday is not your typical read, it is not something you encounter on a regular basis. It was truly a gem. It was all encompassing, covering all facets of life such as love, family, mental illness, the society, loss and so much more. It was life encapsulated into a single book. It was the connection of all the characters that made this book stand out, there was the conventional relationship and the not so usual ones, but everything jived into this perfect harmony that you just couldn’t help but be engrossed by it. It was melancholic as it was raw. The book was written so beautifully, I actually ran out out of sticky tabs. There are so many great passages written here, reflections about life and love. The one thing I noticed about this book was how relatable it was. It magnified the simple things, and we are all aware about the saying that sometimes it is the small things that truly matter. Has this happened to you? Like for an instance you are thinking about a certain thing, it was just something nonsensical, and a little silly to share with others so you just keep it to yourself? This book, assured me that whatever I was thinking, or whatever feeling I was having no matter how silly or noncommittal, that it still counts, or matters. I loved that in a book, the way it reaches out to its readers, how every experience real or fictional, came from something that existed long before us. That what we truly feel and think is universal, and there was some sense of comfort in that.
As I was reading this book, it kind of gave off The Bell Jar vibe, which as most of us already know is one of the most depressing books written of all time. It wasn’t entirely like The Bell Jar, but there are bits and parts of the book that instantly reminded me of Sylvia Plath’s novel. I cannot say that the similarity is palpable, but there was hint of it in this book, making it more engaging and interesting. If you enjoyed The Bell Jar, I think you’ll like this book as well, but don’t go on expecting something as depressing, let’s just put it this way, Sunday’s on The Phone to Monday will give you that nostalgic feeling that no other book could.
The characters in this story were different in their own ways. They are readily identifiable from each other. I loved how the story started the way it did, it was like a journey of some sort with bits and pieces of flashbacks that make it coherent and polished. I learned that this book was originally intended to be a poetry book, and I can definitely see the beautiful play on words. It was lyrical in every sense of the word.
The book will leave you with a calm feeling. It was the peace and quiet after a heavy down pour, it was proportional to the feeling of sipping a hot cup of tea in a cold rainy afternoon. It is as if, everything in the world is okay once more. It is the kind of book that need not require exaggerated events, or heart stopping twists, it was as true and as raw as it could get and there is definitely beauty in that. I loved this book, I wish everyone could find time to read it!
“She gave him all the tools he needed to hurt her, and he did the same. Wasn’t that the logic in love?”
― Christine Reilly, Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday