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The Arrivals: A Novel

A book by Meg Mitchell Moore

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A rare treat and a regular family

  • Jun 8, 2011

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 be free? And can those visions of childhood’s tears ever truly fade away.
Meg Mitchell Moore creates a home, a family, and a wealth of family problems in her novel The Arrivals. She makes it all work, as indeed do Ginny and William, with good humor, gentle concern, and a wise ability to step in and step back. Transitions from one point of view to another are expertly done. Insights into human frailty and determination are achingly real. Chaos is pleasingly madcap and soothingly controlled. And the dialog is absolutely perfect.
I was once the child. I became the mother. I’m now the empty-nester. And I feel for every character in this tale—never manipulated, never simple, never false. This novel’s the sort of rare treat that makes you appreciate what you have, and gives you peace of mind to wait for what’s coming. That it’s packaged with a perfectly planned beginning, middle and end, and a wonderfully satisfying title, is a tribute to an author who creates both characters and plots, weaves them in glorious Technicolor, and ties off the threads with clean firm stitches at the end.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Anna Balasi of Hachette Book Group USA in exchange for an honest review, and I honestly loved it!

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More The Arrivals: A Novel reviews
review by . October 21, 2011
The greatest event in the world is the arrival of grandchildren.
"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 …
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Sheila Deeth ()
Ranked #41
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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About this book


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)
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ISBN-10: 0316097713
ISBN-13: 978-0316097710
Author: Meg Mitchell Moore
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books

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