I love reading debut novels and discovering new authors. The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore was everything I could have hoped for in a debut novel - women's fiction at it's best.
Ginny and William, parents of three grown children, spend a summer where their children come back home for a variety of reasons. Lillian, their oldest daughter has returned home with her two young children, Olivia and Phillip. She is exhausted from motherhood and angry with her husband and in no apparent rush to return to her life as a stay at home mother. Stephen, Ginny and William's son, has arrived for an impromptu visit with his very pregnant wife Jane. While there a medical emergency necessitates Jane remaining on bed rest- at the home of her in-laws- until her child is born. Rachel, the youngest daughter is also having her own problems. After a break-up with her live-in boyfriend Marcus, Rachel faces financial problems as she is unable to pay her bills on just one salary and is emotionally devastated as well. Her arrival home completes William and Ginny's family and fills the house once again. Each child struggles to find their way as the summer passes and the family adjusts once again to living together.
There is so much I loved about this novel. I loved the Burlington, Vermont, setting. I love the cover on this book. I love Moore's writing which allowed me to feel as though I could have been sitting in the Owens' house with the family taking everything in. Moore created an entertaining story of something easily imaginable.
This may be the best debut I read all summer and is certainly one I am recommending to any women's fiction readers. After checking Moore's website I am happy to find that her second book will be published in 2012.