An empty nest fills back up with alarming speed in Moore's promising debut. Five years have passed since the last of their kids have left home, and Ginny and William Owens have settled into a comfortable rhythm at home in Burlington, Vt., that's unexpectedly disrupted. Their exhausted and defeated daughter, Lillian, shows up with three-year-old Olivia, three-month-old Philip, and without her husband. Within days, Lillian's brother, Stephen, and his pregnant wife, Jane, arrive for an unannounced visit that will turn into a summer-long stay. Daughter Rachel, still working in New York, is teetering on the edge of financial and emotional disaster, and will also end up in Burlington in short order. Moore finds a crisp narrative in the morass of an overpacked household, and she keeps the proceedings moving with an assurance and outlook reminiscent of Laurie Colwin, evoking emotional universals with the simplest of observations, as in "the peace you feel when you are awake in a house where children are sleeping." (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"The Arrivals" is a good study of a family with complicated needs but with a lot of love. Life in Burlington, Vt. seemed peaceful to retirees William and Ginny Owen. Then they are surprised with their eldest daughter, Lillian, calling that she was coming with her two small children because she needed a break from her husband. Soon after, their son Stephen and his wife Jean drive up from New York, unannounced. Jean is seven months pregnant … more
I’m told one of the best things about grandchildren is you can always hand them back. But if the children are staying at Grandma’s house, maybe that doesn’t apply. Ginny and Williams’ house, recently emptied, starts filling up when daughter Lillian arrives with two children in tow. Next comes their son’s unannounced weekend visit. Then there’s the call for help from their youngest child. Should a parent feel delighted to be needed, or desperate to … more