"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.
What did you think of this review?