Hey Harry, Hey Matilda - Rachel Hulin

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her (totally alive) brother, is an untenured professor of literature, anxiously contemplating his publishing status (unpublished) and sleeping with a student.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 didn't buy into this one. I was just... meh. And then the ending had implications that made me uncomfortable and I'm just very eh about this book.

 

I normally love the style of letters and emails to tell an entire story but in this case it fell short. Harry and Matilda lacked distinct voices and if not for the changing of font I really wouldn't have been able to know who was who without looking at salutations. Both were also bland. English professors and wedding photographers sound like careers that would be very intriguing, but the two of them did not live up to expectations.

 

If you asked me to describe a plot I'm not really sure where I'd go. The lie referenced in the blurb was barely a minor subplot point and didn't create the drama I expected. I'm not sure if they ever learned who they really were.

 

The ending just really killed all of my enjoyment of this novel. I guess there was foreshadowing that I chose to write off as my imagination, but ultimately it was weird and uncomfortable. I've read a book with a similar topic where the author made it okay, but this felt left field.

 

Interestingly, this was originally done as an Instagram novel. Fascinating concept. I wish the story had worked more for me.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.