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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Pamela Harvey on 07-26-12
Entertainment With Substance
Despite my feeling that this book felt a bit like the audio version of the TV show "Parenthood", I thought the author did an excellent job of portraying the members of an extended family in difficult circumstances, with challenges and learnings for each individual.
The glitches that each person runs into are as varied as the circumstances that make up each individual's emotional and situational maze. Yet they are all connected, and the resolutions to the varied story arcs seem settled and complete. Of course, there can be a myriad of possible plot endings and exit points in each story, but the learnings are based on letting go of outcomes and not hanging on to one's personal version of how things "should" be. Or, put another way, for each main character it's mostly all about letting go of absolute control and understanding that flexibility is key in adapting to what is.
I did find some aspects of the book a bit high on the drama scale, and some of the situations seemed a bit extreme but my reaction to that was ok but so what? Why I am I reading this? Is it entertaining, and am I learning anything or getting any insights into how others go about the business of living their daily lives, glitches and all? And my answer is "yes" to all of that. Besides, how else can a writer zone in on everyone's trick bag other than polarizing positions in the relatively short timeframe imposed by novels in general?
Hard to pinpoint specific scenes without spoiling, but it looked like in the end, each person managed to "step up to the plate" in his/her own way, and move past, and through, their personal challenges.
And it's all told with a light touch, which makes the read an entertaining listen.
Narration was mostly ideal, but - and I am not sure if this is a production issue or directorial choice - I thought the space between the characters' stories was too short. A little more breathing room between scenes would have enhanced each story and the picture as a whole.
For me, another 5-star listen!
21 of 23 people found this review helpful
By Claudia D. Nichol on 10-01-12
problems come & go but families are forever
Where does The Arrivals rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Who was your favorite character and why?
The mom who kept her silence when needed and said the right thing at the right time.
Which scene was your favorite?
The arrival of the estranged husband.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No, I wanted it to last - listened while walking and while sewing.
Any additional comments?
The connection from one story part to another seemed to be missing at times. There was no good transition between the brother's living away and suddenly being home.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful