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The Arrivals: A Novel Hardcover – May 25, 2011

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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)
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The Arrivals is told from multiple points of view, always a tricky maneuver. But Moore handles the shifts in perspective with ease, nimbly evoking the reader's sympathy for each family member.  --Sara Vilkomerson, Entertainment Weekly

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books; 1 edition (May 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316097713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316097710
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,098,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Meg Mitchell Moore began writing as soon as she figured out how the cursive 'T' and 'F' were different and hasn't stopped since. Her debut novel, The Arrivals, was published in 2011 by Reagan Arthur Books, then an imprint of Little, Brown. Her second novel, So Far Away, was published in 2012 and was named one of the year's best adult novels for young adults by Booklist. Her third novel, The Admissions, is due out in August 2015 from Doubleday. Before turning to fiction Meg worked as a freelance journalist for a variety of business and consumer magazines, where she often managed to pitch stories involving dogs. Before that she worked on the staff of a family of technology magazines. (Despite all of her time there, she is still trying to figure out what a server is.) Meg received a B.A. from Providence College and a master's degree in English Literature from New York University. The daughter of a Naval officer, Meg moved around every few years as a child, including a move her senior year of high school, which she is totally and completely over. Totally and completely: no scars. In 2012 Meg, her husband, their three children and a beloved border collie moved from Massachusetts to northern California.Despite California's many charms (including the settings that inspired much of The Admissions), they lasted exactly one year and returned to the beautiful coastal town of Newburyport, Massachusetts, where they now live with a new puppy, a lot of laundry and a good amount of laughs. The characters in The Admissions have many juicy secrets, but Meg's own secrets are not so newsworthy. (Or are they?)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lori Caswell VINE VOICE on May 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 By michael a. draper VINE VOICE on October 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 By Karen Mascott on May 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 By GiGi on July 29, 2011
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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Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by Kate
Review copy provided by SheKnows Book Club

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.
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