Thursday, October 20, 2011

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

Meg Mitchell Moore's debut novel offers the readers a good study of a family with complicated needs.

Life in Burlington, Vt. seemed peaceful to the retired couple, William and Ginny Owen. Their eldest daughter, Lillian, called and informs them that she and her two children, ages three and newborn, are coming to their home and that she needs some time away from her husband.

Lillian doesn't share with her parents that her husband, Tom, had just slept with his assistant and a company function.

From life that seemed routine and peaceful, the home was suddenly in an uproar. Even more so when William and Ginny's son, Stephen and his wife Jane drive up without warning. Jane is seven months pregnant and both Stephen and she feel that they need a change of pace from their home in New York. Once again, the family ability to cope with change is challenged when a situation develops and the couple must extend their stay.

Rooms are changed and a pull out couch is activated for the sudden crowd.

Problems continue and the family seems to accept them but tempers are challenged with five guests in a home that had been set up for the retirees comfort.

The youngest child of the Owen's is Rachel, who has been living in New York. She also has difficulties and requests her parents to help.

The Owen's family's personal journey through the turbulent time is well described with humor and empathy with each child needing nourishment from their parents in different ways.

The author gives a good description of William and Ginny's realization that being parents bears responsibility that continues after the children leave home. The fact that the children have a safe place to go to when things are not going well is also a good lesson for all parents.

The characters and the setting were well described and the novel basks with fine literary flavor. The chaos was a bit long for me but the novel was enlightening and enjoyable.


10 comments:

Denise Z said...

Hey Mike, I remember reading something about The Arrivals somewhere and it peaked my interest, I don't think it had been released at the time. Thanks for sharing today, I think I will hop over and check out more :)

mike draper said...

Denise;
My son's wife just went to a business meeting and he's home with a 3 1/2 and a 1 1/2 year old children. My wife just returned from being with them for three days to help out so this book had a major message for me.
Mike

Patricia said...

This is pretty common place. I have gone through similar situation myself with four of my daughters at one time or another. Sounds like a good read. Thanks!

Blessings,
Patricia aka Mamaw

mike draper said...

Hi Patricia;
Wow, four daughters coming back at one time...maybe you should write your own book.
Mike
PS Thanks for stopping by.

Fairday Morrow said...

What an interesting review. This book seems like a great read. I enjoyed the summary and your take on the book!

I found you through Book Blogs and signed up to follow you. When you have a chance- please stop by and follow the blog for my middle grade novel that I am hoping to get published. http://thesecretdmsfilesoffairdaymorrow.blogspot.com/

Take care-
Jess- although I may show up as Fairday, the main character from my novel. I can't figure out why that happens and I can't fix it. :)

mike draper said...

Jess, Thanks for stopping by and the follow from Book blogs.
Mike

Historical Writer/Editor said...

This sounds like an interesting book.

mike draper said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lara. Yes, I would call this interesting. It sure has a message for parents and grandparents.
Mike

Patricia said...

This book sounds good, Mike - I think I need to add it to my TBR list!!

Thanks for the review.

Patricia

librarypat said...

Thanks for the review of this book. I will have to look for it. We can certainly relate with the story line. 3 children and 3 different sets of concerns. Especially with the current economic situation, the empty nest filling back up is becoming more common all the time.

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