Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore

While not action packed, this novel is an interesting study in the dynamics of grown up children and their parents.

Ginny and William are empty nesters living in Vermont when one summer all of their adult children, as well as their two young grandchildren descend upon them.

Their eldest, Lillian brings her three year old child and her newborn as she has just found out her husband cheated on her.  While Ginny and William are doting grandparents, and are concerned about their daughter even though she hasn't confided in them about her husband's infidelity, they do struggle with the noise and disorder that accompanies the visitors.  And they constantly try to find out how long they plan to stay - with no success.  For her part, Lillian is trying - she misses her husband though has not forgiven him and won't agree to see him (or to let him see the children).  Over the course of the book you see how she works through this - with the help of a childhood friend and the local priest.

Next Ginny and William's son, Stephen, and his pregnant wife Jane show up.  There is much tension between Ginny and Jane - Ginny can't quite relate to her daughter-in-law who is a workaholic and the primary breadwinner in the family.  Stephen is afraid to admit that it is he who will stay home with the baby.  The tension is exacerbated when Jane is ordered to stay in bed for the remainder of her pregnancy - not even able to return to her New York home.

Finally, the youngest daughter Rachel shows up - she has broken up with her live-in boyfriend, suffered a miscarriage and is floundering in her job.  Ginny clearly wants to mother her baby - she is better suited to caring for a woman who needs her than a woman like Jane.

The whole book just follows the lives of these people through the course of this one summer when they're all living on top of each other.

I recommend this if you like books heavy on family dynamics.

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