May 252011
 

The maze of motherhood, marriage and womanhood has been entangled, detangled and revealed in The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore. Through a vivid, honest and raw depiction of a relationship gone awry between a young husband and wife, Moore succeeds in weaving in complicated family relationships such as that between mothers and daughters, siblings as well as that of in laws. 

The Owens – Ginny and William Owen – are enjoying their peaceful life as a married couple with an empty nest in Vermont. Their life is calm and filled with book clubs, gardening, church and a once-in-a while update from their three grown up children, who have all left town in search of their own destinies.
It only takes a few days for the Owens’ life to change dramatically, as their oldest daughter Lillian shows up on an unexpected extended vacation with her two young children. She is followed by their son Stephen, who after a surprise visit ends up having to stay for much longer than planned with his pregnant wife, and soon the Owens’ youngest daughter shows up on her parents’ footsteps in an effort to escape the reality of her big city life. 
The Owens’ house is once again filled with child’s laughter, tears, conflicts as all three children are under the same roof again. The intricate and complicated family relationships make the house seem like a volcano about to erupt at any minute, and the Owens do their best to handle the abrupt changes to their peaceful life.
Moore has a talent for depicting human weaknesses and making them seem appropriate, without judging, minimizing their importance or ridiculing the events leading up to the exposure of these weaknesses. Moore digs into the raw emotions of both men and women, and in The Arrivals she makes them relevant, as she explores the misunderstandings, complicated emotions, conflicts and joys of family life.

The Arrivals is a perfect book for summer reading, as it will grab you and pull you into the storyline. It is very likely that any reader will be able to identify with at least part of one of the characters, or perhaps like me be able to identify with a little bit of each character. Motherhood, being a sister, a daughter and a sister-in-law – it can be wonderful, it can be complicated and it can be challenging. In The Arrivals the intricate and complex make up of a family unit is examined up close with a bit of humor and a great insight.

I enjoyed reading The Arrivals, and I give it five out of five stars.


here at Frugality Is Free (2 winners)

About The Author:

Meg Mitchell Moore Meg worked as a journalist for many years, and her work has been published in Yankee, Continental, Women’s Health, Advertising Age and other business and consumer magazines. She received a B.A. from Providence College and a master’s degree in English Literature from New York University. The Arrivals is her first novel, and she is set to release her second novel in 2012.

Moore lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with her husband and their three children.

Title: The Arrivals
Author: Meg Mitchell Moore
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown and Company (May 25, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316097713
ISBN-13: 978-0316097710

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore from Hachette Bookgroup, for the purpose of writing a review and hosting a giveaway in connection with The Arrivals book tour. I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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