Reviews of Arrivals, the (2011)
Review by michael a draper (2011-10-20)
Meg Mitchell Moore's debut novel offers the reader a good study of a family with complicated needs but lots of love.
Life in Burlington, Vermont, seemed peaceful to retirees William and Ginny Owen. Their eldest daughter, Lillian, informs them that she and her two children, ages three and newborn, are coming to their hom and that she needs some time away from her husband.
She doesn't admit that her husband had just slept with his assistant at a company function.
Overnight the peaceful home was suddenly in an uproar. Next, Lillian's younger brother, Stephen and his pregnant wife Jane arrive without warning. Their weekend visit is extended when a situation develops and Jane needs bed rest. Once again the family ability to cope is challenged but they manage without too much difficulty.
Roms are changed and a pull out couch is activated for the sudden crowd.
Finally, the youngest child, Rachel, who has been living in New York, calls and requests help.
Problems of one sort of another keep coming up and nerves are on edge in a home that was set up for the retirees comfort.
The Owen's family journey through turbulent times is well described with humor and empathy with each child needing nourishment from their parents in different ways.
The characters and the settings were realistic and the novel basks with literary flavor. The chaos was a bit long for me but the novel was enlightening and enjoyable.
The lesson that children often need a safe place to come to when things are not well is a good lesson for all parents.
(This review refers to the 2011 version titled “The Arrivals”)