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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2011 Meg Mitchell Moore (P)2012 Hachette

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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    14
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    28
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    20
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    27
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    7
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    3
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Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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    22
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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!

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

problems come & go but families are forever

Where does The Arrivals rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Third

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 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Family Story

What did you love best about The Arrivals?

The family had issues just like everyone else

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Arrivals?

the connection between the mother and father - they seemed like they were still in love and respected each other

What does Leslie Bellair bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

emotion

If you could take any character from The Arrivals out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Rachel. To talk to her about getting over her boyfriend

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Just Average

Would you try another book from Meg Mitchell Moore and/or Leslie Bellair?

I am not sure that I would. My time is so limited that I seek out those truly great books. If I had time to kill on a beach vacation, then maybe I would try another one.

Would you be willing to try another book from Meg Mitchell Moore? Why or why not?

I am not sure that I would. My time is so limited that I seek out those truly great books. If I had time to kill on a beach vacation, then maybe I would try another one.

Did Leslie Bellair do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

I think Leslie Bellair should slow down her reading a bit. Especially, between breaks. She reads so fast that you don't even realize she's reading a chapter title until afterwards when you are trying to figure out the run-on sentence. There is no differentiating in characters so you do find yourself confused sometimes trying to figure out who is talking in the book.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I think this could be a good movie depending on actors.

Any additional comments?

This book was a roller coaster in that you would get plenty of detail and sucked into the story and then it would just sort of drop and jump to another part of the story. I felt like pieces were missing or maybe that was meant for a commercial break.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Read - Starts Slow but Builds Perfectly

Would you listen to The Arrivals again? Why?

Yes, I really enjoyed the characters and felt a part of them by the time the story was finished. I wanted it to continue.

What other book might you compare The Arrivals to and why?

Meg Mitchell Moore's other books are fabulous as well - I have now read all three.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A little boring

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I felt as if my time was wasted. It started out ok but then nothing really happened and I wanted it to end.

Would you be willing to try another one of Leslie Bellair’s performances?

Probably not. Her Boston accent when reading the scenes with the priest was terrible. It sounded like a New York accent. Also, the narrator didn't pause between chapters or when the POV switched so that was a little confusing at times. The character of Ginny sounded more like an 85 year old than a 65 year old.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

no.