Sunday's on the Phone to Monday
Christine Reilly brings a cinematographer’s eye and a poet’s ear to her luminous debut, SUNDAY’S ON THE PHONE TO MONDAY (Touchstone; April 5, 2016).
“This won’t be a love story. Nobody is trying to tell you something about love. This will be a story about a family.”
Parents Claudio and Mathilde Simone fell in love living out their bohemian ideals in New York City, but family life finds them nestled in the suburbs out on Long Island with their three daughters: the pragmatic Natasha, the soulful poet Lucy, and romantic Carly. Though the five Simones can bicker like the best—when Claudio embarrasses his daughters; when Carly, adopted from China, feels like a misfit; or, more often than not, just to pass the time—by the end of the day they’re always wrapped up in each other’s love.
The years put their tight-knit family bonds to the test as the Simones must face mental and physical illness, financial difficulties, and well-kept secrets. Through the ups and downs, they look to their favorite Beatles and Bob Dylan lyrics, familiar to all from the record store that Claudio owns, to poetry, and to each other for strength. These snatches of song, lines of poetry, and a playful index are woven together by Christine Reilly’s deft hand and coalesce to form a fresh, original voice.
In the vein of The Middlesteins by Jamie Attenberg and The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, SUNDAY’S ON THE PHONE TO MONDAY is a quotidian family romance and a love song to New York City that shines a light on the Simones’ resilience in the face of tragedy.