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The Arrivals: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Meg Mitchell Moore
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $24.99
Kindle Price: $8.89
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

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

From 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)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


What an intoxicating read! In The Arrivals, Meg Mitchell Moore takes on the age-old topic of parents and children and their children with a fresh perspective, a canny understanding of human emotion, and the absolute best dialogue I have ever read. Both charming and deeply meaningful, this is one book you must not miss. -- Elin Hilderbrand A tender portrait of a tangled, complicated, all-too real family, The Arrivals left me teary and fulfilled. A sparkling, page-turning debut. Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of The One That I Want, Time of My Life, and Department of Lost and Found -- Allison Winn Scotch, Bestselling Author Meg Mitchell Moore's debut novel, The Arrivals, reads like the finest of guidebooks, pointing out the beauty and excitement of an untraveled place, yet simultaneously offering readers a map of their own families, with the intricacies, misunderstandings, heartbreak, and forgiveness found there. Under Moore's deft and gloriously talented hand, the best kind of story telling is woven with epiphany, and readers will emerge knowing a place so close to home in an entirely new way. -- Siobhan Fallon, Author Of You Know When The Men Are Gone

Product Details

  • File Size: 522 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books; 1 edition (May 25, 2011)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047Y17NE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,648 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life as a parent never ends. May 24, 2011
Ginny and William Owens have grown comfortable in their "empty nest". Their youngest child moved out 5 years ago. They enjoy their quiet times, Ginny volunteering at church, William reading his newspapers and working in the gardens. A nice relaxing life.

Then their daughter Lillian arrives for an unexpected "visit" with newborn baby Phillip and 3-year old Olivia in tow. Husband Tom is "home, buried in work."

Then a few days later Stephen arrives with his pregnant wife Jane for a short weekend visit. Stephen is going to be the stay-at-home Dad when the baby arrives and Jane will return to her high pressure, high paying job just 3 short weeks after the baby is born.

Daughter Rachel is not far behind, her life is crashing around her both financially and emotionally as her boyfriend leaves her. She needs some time at home to sort things out.

Ginny and William's empty nest is soon overflowing with family and their entire summer will be disrupted as their children are all facing very difficult issues. The days of a kiss, a hug, and a band-aid are long over. They have put the parenthood hats back on the help their children as only parents can.


Life as a parent never ends, whether your kids are 2 or 62, until of course the parent is no longer alive. Part of being a parent is to always be there for your children, no matter what they are facing.

This is a wonderful debut novel depicting modern family life and problems, bringing a family together to cope, learning responsibility and forgiveness and how to survive life today in this fast-paced world.

I must say William and Ginny showed so much patience as their home was overtaken by their children but I can say that is what parents do today.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Meg Mitchell Moore's debut novel offers the reader a good study of a family with complicated needs.

Life in Burlington, Vermont seemed peaceful to retirees William and Ginny Owen. Then, their eldest daughter, Lillian, 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.

She doesn't admit that her husband had just slept with his assistant at a company function.

Overnight the sereen life at home became chaotic and complicated. Even more so when the Owen's son Stephen and his wife Jane arrive without warning. Jane is seven months pregnant and both Stephen and Jane need a change of pace from their home in New York.

Once again, the family shows resilience but a situation develops and the couple's intended weekend stay must be extended.

The family seems to accept the problems that are handed out but it is a definate challenge to the idea of life that the retirees thought was their due, even when their youngest child calls for 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.

William and Ginny realize 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 a lesson for all parents.

The characters and the setting is 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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Arrivals is one of those books that you can't put down -- you turn the page eager to see what happens next; at the same time, you never want it to end. I fell in love with this family, and with each character -- each rich with personality and authenticity. Moore's dialogue is sharp and insightful, vividly capturing the dynamics of modern family relationships.

This book is one of the best family stories I've ever read!
Buy this book and share it with your family.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I didn't like one single character in this book July 29, 2011
By GiGi
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really, really wanted to like this book. I am a grandmother and there is so little fiction written that addresses life topics for mature people. The basic story line of this book was good. The fact that it addressed the problems of all the characters at different stages and situations in life was good. But the characters had such petty, selfish personalities I could not enjoy them. I know there are plenty of people like that, but I don't like spending my time with them, in life or in a book. I had hoped that by the end of the story they would have redeemed themselves. But what little they did, did not make up for the rest of the book.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and genuine May 28, 2011
I was thrilled when, as a part of writing a piece on the author for a local publication, Meg offered me the opportunity to read an advance copy of The Arrivals, and here is the email I sent her after finishing it: (note, I removed references to key plot pieces]

"I got into bed at 10:30pm and told myself I'd only read a little bit, but damn you are good! I couldn't put it down, until I finished, and it is now well after midnight. My heart was in my throat while [...], and Ginny's insight about [...] - brilliant! My cheeks are still wet, you are an amazing writer."

Meg's story of the Owens family coming back together under one roof for a summer, is engaging, genuine, and thought provoking. I could personally relate to Lillian and her exhaustion at being a mother to a three-year-old and an infant. But it is seeing life and motherhood through Ginny's eyes that is sticking with me; it gave me new insight into my own mother's perspective and how the role of mother changes, yet stays the same as children grow up and head out on their own. The conversations throughout the book are thoughtful, deep and real.

Meg nails it! I can't wait for everyone else to enjoy it as much as I did.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving it so far
If you're into family drama this book is for you. Middle aged parents and who are also grandparents find their quiet life disrupted by the return of their three grown children and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lily
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy read
Very real honest book. Characters are relateable and writing is comfortable. A good read for a relaxing weekend at home
Published 15 months ago by Ginny J
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Good book. Enjoyed it after I got into it. It was a little slow at first. Glad I kept going.
Published 16 months ago by Melba L. Jeffus
3.0 out of 5 stars The Arrivals: A Novel
It was a slow moving story. Decent character development but, all-in-all, an average family story. Family life description felt too "Brady Bunch" for my liking.
Published 16 months ago by Doreen L. D'Arcangelo
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story.
The three stars doesn't mean that I didn't like this book. It is a good story with an interesting twist.
Published 16 months ago by Beach Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars Summer Weight
I found this to be one of those books great for light summer reading. This is the first book I've read by Meg Mitchell Moore.
Published 16 months ago by Virginia Wolf
4.0 out of 5 stars The bomarang generation how-to or how-not-to book
This was an engaging story, with mostly believable characters. Since I identify with the Mother, I can say that I would do less laundry and more "medaling" in my... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Gail J. Pattison
5.0 out of 5 stars None
This is a lovely book, graceful, warm, deeply human. I've recently read two other novels with almost-identical themes--Jean Thompson's The Year We Left Home and Jennifer Close's... Read more
Published 20 months ago by judith straffin
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
Was expecting this book to be very good. It was just okay - kind of boring and slow reading. Would not recommend this book.
Published 20 months ago by Madonna
3.0 out of 5 stars Complex family dynamics
A good read, lots of story lines to follow, but ultimately predictable. Not as good as I'd heard, but a decent beach/summer read.
Published 20 months ago by Nutmeg
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More About the Author

Meg Mitchell Moore worked for several years as a journalist. Her work has been published in Yankee, Continental, Women's Health, Advertising Age and many other business and consumer magazines. She received a B.A. from Providence College and a master's degree in English Literature from New York University. The Arrivals is her first novel. Her second novel will be published by Reagan Arthur Books in 2012. Meg lives in northern Massachusetts with her husband, their three children and a beloved border collie.

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