Sara's Reviews > The Arrivals

The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore
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May 15, 11

bookshelves: first-reads, adult-fiction, 2011
Read from May 09 to 14, 2011

4.5 stars. What a great book about family dynamics and the changing responsibilities between children and parents as they all grow! I hadn't heard anything about this book before winning a copy of it through the FirstReads program, but I enjoyed the novel very much and am glad to have won it.

William and Ginny are a couple in their 60's who raised 3 children together. Although their children are now grown, all three independently arrive at their parents' house one summer because of issues going on in their own lives, each hoping that traveling there will unburden their problems and make them as carefree as they felt when kids. Lillian, married with two young kids, is trying to sort things out with her cheating husband; Stephen's married with a baby on the way, scared to tell his parents he's planning to be a stay-at-home dad after his career-driven wife gives birth; and Rachel, the youngest, is frustrated by her seemingly dead-end job and failed relationship. Each had their own issues to deal with, and now that they're all under one roof again, family dynamics start to shift, and William and Ginny realize that they're not quite done parenting yet.

The author is obviously a very talented writer, as she managed to take an often-used premise (ie, individual problems make for shifting familial dynamics and personal revelations!) and turn it into a captivating book. Although there were a number of main characters, the author introduced them in a way that made it easy to remember who was who and keep everyone's life straight; I empathized with each. The plot of this book isn't "loud" or particularly attention-grabbing, but the way things unfolded kept me interested and its quiet tone drew me in to the internal conflicts. I quickly felt as though I was in each person's head, and they all very easily became "real" to me, not just characters in a book. I didn't find any of the characters to be lacking, even the secondary ones. I also loved the fact that the author didn't try to pull the plot together at any point by bringing the characters together through a tragedy - this is done wayyy too often in books (in my opinion, anyway) and never feels quite authentic.

I think this would make for a wonderful summer read, considering that the story takes place from June to August, and it's a lovely tale that isn't too taxing to read or difficult to get through - it's simply a nice book.
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message 1: by Spateve (new)

Spateve Oooooo, this sounds like my kind of book!! I'll have to keep an eye out for when this comes to the library!!


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