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The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore

Thursday, July 21, 2011
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.

Good Reads Summary

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.   
3 1/2 Stars