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Friday, August 19, 2011

The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore (Book Review)

Title: The Arrivals
Author: Meg Mitchell Moore
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

About the book: It's the start of summer when Ginny and William Owen's quiet, peaceful life in Burlington, Vermont, comes to an abrupt halt.

First, their eldest daughter, Lillian, shows up, with her two children in tow, to escape her crumbling marriage.  Next, Lillian's  younger brother, Stephen, arrives for the weekend, accompanied by his pregnant wife, Jane, an ambitious and misunderstood Wall Street workaholic -- but their visit is extended indefinitely when Jane is put on mandatory bed rest.

And by the time Rachel, the youngest Owen sibling, appears, fleeing the difficulties of her single life in New York City, the senior Owens are once again consumed by the chaos and stress of their early parenting days -- only this time around, their house is filled with grown-up children and their adult problems.

Meg Mitchell Moore's absorbing debut offers acute observations on the workings of a modern family, the challenges of parenting, and the continual struggles of growing up.  By summer's end, the Owen family will have new ideas about loyalty, responsibility, and how you survive the people you love most.  The old adage "once a parent, always a parent" has never rung so true.

My thoughts:  This is a debut novel for Mrs. Moore and I for one, cannot wait to see what else she has in store.  I enjoyed the interaction this family shared and how they all came home one by one.  While we know why they are there, it is revealed to other members of the family slowly.  All of the children are wrapped up in their own problems, but at the same time they are able to come to realize that supporting their siblings is important as well. 

Ginny and William (parents) take it all in stride.  I cannot believe the amount of patience they showed.  If I am remembering the story correctly, I read this awhile ago, I am not sure that they had any warning that their kids were coming - and they sure weren't expecting them to stay for the summer! Looking back on my own life though, there was a couple of times that I found myself back at my mom's for an extended stay of a month or two and we got along quite well.  I hope that in the future I could extend that hospitality to my own kids (of course, they have to move out first!)

I enjoyed this book, I do remember that - that it was an easy read - one that I looked forward to getting back into.  I think it would be a good book for book clubs as there is lots of discussion material revolving around family relationships, troubles, and how to solve/deal with them.

~I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hachette in exchange for my review.~

About the author: Meg Mitchell Moore worked for several years as a journalist.  Her articles have been published in a wide variety of business and consumer magazines.  She received a master's degree in English literature from New York University.  She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and their three children.  The Arrivals is her first novel.

You can find her at her website.

The Arrivals: A Novel by Meg Mitchell Moore
Publisher/Publication Date: Little, Brown and Company, May 2011
ISBN: 978-0316097710
336 pages


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