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The Arrivals

The Arrivals

3.4 26
by Meg Mitchell Moore

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It's early summer when Ginny and William's peaceful life in Vermont comes to an abrupt halt.

First, their daughter Lillian arrives, with her two children in tow, to escape her crumbling marriage. Next, their son Stephen and his pregnant wife Jane show up for a weekend visit, which extends indefinitely when Jane ends up on bed rest. When their youngest daughter


It's early summer when Ginny and William's peaceful life in Vermont comes to an abrupt halt.

First, their daughter Lillian arrives, with her two children in tow, to escape her crumbling marriage. Next, their son Stephen and his pregnant wife Jane show up for a weekend visit, which extends indefinitely when Jane ends up on bed rest. When their youngest daughter Rachel appears, fleeing her difficult life in New York, Ginny and William find themselves consumed again by the chaos of parenthood - only this time around, their children are facing adult problems.

By summer's end, the family gains new ideas of loyalty and responsibility, exposing the challenges of surviving the modern family - and the old adage, once a parent, always a parent, has never rung so true.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An empty nest fills back up with alarming speed in Moore's promising debut. Five years have passed since the last of their kids have left home, and Ginny and William Owens have settled into a comfortable rhythm at home in Burlington, Vt., that's unexpectedly disrupted. Their exhausted and defeated daughter, Lillian, shows up with three-year-old Olivia, three-month-old Philip, and without her husband. Within days, Lillian's brother, Stephen, and his pregnant wife, Jane, arrive for an unannounced visit that will turn into a summer-long stay. Daughter Rachel, still working in New York, is teetering on the edge of financial and emotional disaster, and will also end up in Burlington in short order. Moore finds a crisp narrative in the morass of an overpacked household, and she keeps the proceedings moving with an assurance and outlook reminiscent of Laurie Colwin, evoking emotional universals with the simplest of observations, as in "the peace you feel when you are awake in a house where children are sleeping." (May)
Library Journal
William and Ginny Owens enjoy a quiet retirement in Vermont until their adult children return home one summer. Their oldest, Lillian, flees from a cheating husband, bringing a three-year-old and an infant. Thirty-five-year-old Stephen only planned a spontaneous weekend visit with his pregnant wife, but a medical emergency puts her in bed for the rest of the summer. Ginny picks up Rachel, the youngest, who's had a miscarriage, left New York, and feels as if she's failed at her job and her life. Glad to be needed, Ginny and William initially welcome their children home, but over the summer, they become tired and angry. When selfish people who haven't grown up harbor secrets and spend too much time together, it won't be long before the household is torn apart. VERDICT Reading about angry, immature adults can be tedious. With more sympathetic characters, Eleanor Brown's The Weird Sisters is a better choice for a story about adult children returning home. This debut novel is recommended with reservations for readers who enjoy family stories.—Lesa Holstine, Glendale P.L., AZ

Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
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Hachette Digital, Inc.
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906 KB

Meet 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.

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The Arrivals 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
a great summer chick lit read! Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. While it was on my currently reading list for awhile, once I got into the book, I could not put it down. I read it every free chance I had and finished it in about a day. It was great chick lit! Out of the three siblings, I didn't like Lillian at all. I can understand that she was hurt and betrayed but she didn't have to take it out on everyone. She didn't even tell her parents why she and her children basically moved in with her. Then she felt put out when other issues hit her siblings. UGH! That bugged me. Rachel was a good character. I wanted her to succeed. I wanted her to find her path and something true for her. Stephen and Jane were great characters as well. They made a fantastic couple and embodied current family planning dynamics. Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book. It was a great read and I think it would be a great summer, beach read. Will I read it again: I'm not sure. It isn't a book that I will read every year but I may read it again in a few years.
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KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
One of those unique books about the workings of families that makes you want to call your own and tell them how much you love them! With different reasons to return home, three adult children find themselves all under their parents roof with their own kids in the mix. The drama quickly follows! I am intrigued by birth order and how that affects families. As a first born, I easily related to Lillian and her quest for perfection, no matter what situation she found herself in. The other character that struck a chord with me was the mother, Ginny. I could see my mother in her or her in my mother - it made this book even better than I could have imagined. I love family dramas, but this one was above the rest because the drama wasn't over the top - it was pitch perfect. Each reader can see a characteristic from their own family in this one. This book was my first by Meg Mitchell Moore, but I am already a huge fan.
Lilac_Wolf More than 1 year ago
I'm going to gush. I think this would be classified as "chick lit" but I would call it "just a story" which is my favorite kind of story. Ginny and William have settled into their retired life together when their adult children return home with their children, pregnant spouses or just alone. The house is filled to busting and William and Ginny take turns being annoyed by it. I loved this, because that's how it usually goes in a relationship. It's a good way to support each other. Which leads to the other reason I adored this story. Each character is human, realistic. No one is all good or all bad, you WILL get annoyed with every character in this book. I find that more engaging than characters that are sweeter than a cupcake. And there were numerous plot points, or story lines. Some I sort of knew where they were going to end, but even then it was a fun ride with nothing truly known for sure until it ended. There is lots of sadness, anger and tons of hope. It also clearly paints a picture of what it's like when you want to be a parent, when you are waiting to become one, when you are one and when your kids are all grown. I think it was a brilliant way to play out not only a great story, but a sneaky way to play out a 30+ year timeline.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Review by Kate: I was very interested to read this story, as our three girls have just recently left for college¿what do I have to look forward to? While the premise of this story is a good one, and at first I loved it, I found that the author tried to tell too many stories at one time, and didn¿t allow the reader a chance to really feel anything for any of the characters. This story should have been a character driven plot, as the action of the plot was almost non-existent. There were several different things happening to many different people, but the story didn¿t give any character a real chance to tell their story. Most of the characters, as mentioned, didn¿t really have a chance to be fleshed out. The parents were non-intrusive as to why their eldest daughter shows up with her two small children and parks on the den¿s sofa. The three-year-old Olivia sounded more like a seven-year-old with her speech patterns, and the only time she really acted like a three-year-old is when she went off to pout. The mother felt threatened by her son¿s wife, and didn¿t know how to handle her, so was constantly criticizing, which seemed a bit out of character. You wonder why the priest was still a priest. The only character that I had any real feelings for was Rachel, the youngest child, who was 29 years old and feeling like a failure. The author¿s style was also a little choppy as well. While reading the story, it was sometimes hard to distinguish between that was going on at the moment and what was flashback. The author tried to give the back story in the middle of a conversation (several times) and that affected the flow of the conversation. It seemed that the author was more into the flow of the story near the end, but then it was time to wrap it all up rather quickly and get all of the children out of the house at the same time. I didn¿t really get the sense of ¿the family gains new ideas of loyalty and responsibility¿ ¿ they just stumbled upon resolutions quickly and off the kids went and the parents were left with a quiet, and clean, home once again. The Arrivals was an adequate read with no real depth of character, a small plot and choppy storytelling. I wouldn¿t be able to recommend it to any group of readers. There is no one strong element of the story that would make it perfect for any one group. There was no romance in it, just problem after problem, and then a quick resolution. Is it telling that the book has the year 2008 in it, but was not published until 2011? Favorite Quote: "It¿s not that he cheated, but that he thought of a life without me."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kherbrand More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OurBookAddiction More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book for the simplicity of the storyline but I found myself unable to identify with the matriarch of the family, Ginny. Perhaps it is because I sense that a woman (the author) cannot possibly know the range of emotions a mother feels of having adult children until she has them herself. I found Ginny too standoffish towards her children in the beginning. I think I understood her better towards the end of the book, but I struggled. The characters I connected with were the father William, the son Stephen, and the daughter Rachel. The daughter Lillian left me cold and unfeeling for her...even her situation. I don't know why.
Icecream18 More than 1 year ago
Three adult children converge on their parents in June and stay for the summer. Their baggage includes a crumbling marriage, a newborn, an adorable three-year-old, an endangered seven-month pregnancy, and a heart-broken, financially-strapped daughter. The storm of problems in one summer is unlikely, but the author draws the reader into the lives of the characters and makes it believable. Both Ginny and William Owen lovingly welcome them. When everyone is sleeping, Ginny stands contentedly, remembering the past safe cocoon of their home. She "relishes every ounce of heavy, satisfied silence, drinking it like a nectar." As parents, William and Ginny express anger at the sources of their children's unhappiness; they help them financially and emotionally. Ginny, however, voices the worry that her life's work has been a failure because her children may not be capable of living on their own.of being happy. Happily, the summer successfully closes with newfound hope because of the support of their parents, siblings, and friends. Adult readers will relish the poignancy of constant love for their children - no matter their ages. Young adults may realize an appreciation for loving, supportive parents, for their own places in their parents' hearts, and for the description of the challenges ahead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
Funny and heartwarming in a comforting sort of way, The Arrivals explores what happens when a retired couple's children all come home to roost again. Ginny and William are living a quiet and contented retirement when, one by one, their adult children begin to arrive back home. First comes Lillian with 3 year old Olivia (asking endless questions) and infant Phillip, but her husband is nowhere to be seen and no one dares ask how long she and the children might be staying. Then Steven and his pregnant wife arrive for a weekend visit, until complications with the pregnancy lands ambitious, driven Jane in bed rest indefinately. Lastly Rachel shows up, physically and emotionally exhausted from trying and failing to make a life for herself in New York. As the summer wears on the household bulges with too many people and too many problems. Can Ginny and William keep it all together and get their children back on track? Meg Mitchell Moore gently probes at family relationships, how the change and mostly how they stay the same in this entertaining and sweet story. The characters are all likeable in their own way and I enjoyed how they revealed different sides as the stroy progressed. 3 year old Olivia, caught in the middle, will steal your heart as she tries to figure out what is going on and, in the end, shows everyone with startling clarity what is truly important in life. An enjoyable read.
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mysteriesformeCA More than 1 year ago
Family...three generations under one roof...daily life, secrets...trusting... living... sharing... resolving. This book is a beautifully crafted first novel, so well written. I didn't want it to end! The family was so real, not one dimensional. I am looking forward to more books by this author.
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