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The Arrivals: A Novel

A book by Meg Mitchell Moore

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The greatest event in the world is the arrival of grandchildren.

  • Oct 21, 2011
Rating:
+3

"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 and they intended to stay for a weekend but a complication to her pregnancy changed that. The doctor's recommended bed rest so their stay turned out to be for the duration of the pregnancy.

Rooms are changed and pull out couches are used and people get on one another's nerves. Then the youngest child, Rachel, calls and needs help. She's been living alone in New York and has her own difficulties.

The family seems to accept the difficulties but with three children, one spouse and two small grandchildren, bedlam rules.

The author provided a nice description of the grandparents realizing that being parents bears a responsibility that continues after the children have left the home. The fact that the children have a safe place to go to when things go wrong is a lesson for all parents.

The characters and the setting were well described and the novel basks with fine literary flavor. The hectic events continued for a bit longer than I was comfortable with but the novel was enlightening and enjoyable.

The greatest event in the world is the arrival of grandchildren. The greatest event in the world is the arrival of grandchildren.

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More The Arrivals: A Novel reviews
review by . June 08, 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 …
About the reviewer
Mike Draper ()
Ranked #68
Michael A.Draper is a financial planner with Mass Mutual in North Haven, CT.   Married to Diana for 46 years, one son and daughter-in-law and two lovely granddaughters.      … more
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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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Details

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

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