- “Hey Harry, Hey Matilda” by Rachel Hulin
- Adult Fiction
- Read as an DRC, thanks to NetGalley
- 2/5 stars
- Bailed January 29, 2017
Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is the story told entirely in hilarious emails of fraternal twins Harry and Matilda Goodman as they fumble into adulthood, telling lies and keeping secrets, and finally confronting their complicated twinship.
Matilda Goodman is an underemployed wedding photographer grappling with her failure to live as an artist and the very bad lie she has told her boyfriend (that she has a dead twin). Harry, her (totally alive) brother, is an untenured professor of literature, anxiously contemplating his publishing status (unpublished) and sleeping with a student. When Matilda invites her boyfriend home for Thanksgiving to meet the family, and when Harry makes a desperate and unethical move to save his career, they set off an avalanche of shame, scandal, and drunken hot tub revelations that force them to examine the truth about who they really are. A wonderfully subversive, sensitive novel of romantic entanglement and misguided ambition, Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is a joyful look at love and family in all its forms.”
I originally found myself totally stoked for this book just based off the summary. One of my favorite books of all time is “Feeling Sorry for Cecilia”. And yet, this book fell flat almost immediately for me. I really enjoyed things like “Attachments” by Rainbow Rowell which was similar to this (written through emails), but the characters in both the aforementioned books had depth and I actually found them interesting.
This one not so much. Parts of it were charming, I guess, and they reminded me of two of my friends who are close siblings, but I didn’t really care about either of the characters. I felt like I was reading the emails of two siblings just talking about life (which is obviously what this book is supposed to be about), but when I reach for a book I want there to be what feels like a plot, and this book seemed to lack it unfortunately.
Maybe this book gets better later on, I bailed about 1/4 of the way into part two, but it wasn’t something I felt like I could continue to read without it being one of those “Life is too short for bad books”. I’m sure this book will be great for others, and the author started an Instagram for the characters which I found really cool. The rest of this book however, just wasn’t for me.
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