I’ve been in a reading mood this past week and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Having a nice and neatly stacked TBR pile also helps too!
I haven’t been reading much this month, but, I’ve been making up for it this week for sure.
Before I even get into the review and commentary for this book, let me give you fair warning. I’ve found this novel very difficult to review but, I will try my best to do it some justice.
TIN MAN by Sarah Winman
Overview – Spoiler Alert : Low
“Ellis and Michael are twelve-year-old boys when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of overbearing fathers. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more.
Many years later, Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question: What happened in the years between?
Tin Man is an unforgettable and heartbreaking novel celebrating love, in all its forms, and all the little moments and small kindnesses that make up a life.”
– Excerpts taken from the overview inside the book.
Review – Spoiler Alert : Low
Usually the reviews and blurbs on the cover of a book are hyped up to lure us into purchasing – this was not the case with Tin Man. Matt Haig’s blurb on the cover “Breaks your heart and warms it all at once.” accurately describes the emotions I felt while reading this novel.
The book follows Michael and Ellis when they first became friends, and gives us a look inside their complicated friendship. When Michael disappears, there is a huge void in the lives of Ellis and Annie. What happens in the years between, will be discovered. But despite time, distance, and circumstances, the strong bonds between them was never broken.
Tin Man is deeply moving, and it packs quite a punch. It is a a story about alternate lives, loss, grief, loneliness, regret, but most importantly love and friendship. The book’s vivid and rich descriptions made everything come to life. A must read for 2018 and beyond.
Commentary – Spoiler Alert : Low
Ellis meets Michael in the 1960’s and they become friends immediately. As the two grow into adulthood they are still very much friends, and at this point, inseparable. Their friendship transforms, and deepens but nothing of consequence happens.
Ellis then meets Annie, they are smitten and shortly after they marry. Michael was not excluded or forgotten. Instead he becomes a part of Ellis and Annie, and they become an inseparable threesome. When they are together, they are whole, and Michael is the glue that holds them together.
Time goes by, and after Mabel dies, Michael disappears to London without a word or a trace. It leaves Ellis and Annie with a void. Without Michael’s exuberance they find themselves becoming plain, boring and ordinary. Michael, after traveling, meeting new people and having many life changing experiences realizes, he too has a void that can only be filled by Ellis and Annie.
Michael returns and they are complete once more. Despite the time that has passed, lives that have changed, Michael’s secrets – their friendship and love for each other has never changed.
My commentary is very short and skeletal considering my raving and glowing review of this book. But I don’t want to give away too much. It is truly a beautiful book and it is something you must read and watch as the plot unfolds. This book is much more than a love story.