Wednesday 13 August 2014

Review - Arms Wide Open by Tom Winter

Arms Wide OpenArms Wide Open by Tom Winter
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Publisher - Corsair

Pages - 353

Blurb from Goodreads

Jack and Meredith are non-identical twins. Their father died before they were born and now they both have to watch as their mother sinks further in to the grip of early-onset dementia.

Jack s career has crashed and burned, all that remains is a Maserati and a nervous disposition. Meredith s world is also crumbling the decomposing yogurt in her fridge a symbol of her newly-expired marriage. Her children, Jemima and Luke, offer little support, too consumed with the world of online dating and amateur taxidermy.

One day, a throwaway comment starts Jack wondering if their father really died. As they begin to untangle the revelations, the twins are forced to ponder both the past and the future: their memories of their mother, their hopes for finding their father, and the fear of what s in their bloodline.

My Review

Our main characters are Jack and Meredith, twins and as different in personality as they are in looks. Meredith simply cannot get over her husband leaving her, for another woman, she still has the yogurt congealing in the fridge from his departure. Her brother is successful, vibrant, loving life and a bit of a car crash waiting to happen. Their mother is in a home with dementia, one comment makes Jack reconsider if his father has actually died as they were always led to believe and trys to find out more.

Meredith has two children, Luke and Jemima, both affected by their fathers departure and trying to cope in their own way. Meredith is becoming more withdrawn, Jack has a secret he is keeping and each is falling apart.

This story flips back and forth, from past to present to try and show how the past has shaped the people and their futures. Lies and secrets will be revealed and have different impacts upon the people involved.

I have to say I wasn't enamored with this book, some people really loved it. I found the characters hard to take to, I did love Reggie, the poor wee blind dog from next door. Once you learn more about Jack, I did warm a little to him however, Meredith, her mother and her daughter were not likable characters. Yes they had reasons for why they behaved as they did but still, I couldn't take to them. Wee Luke, God love him, he was ok but there wasn't a real explanation for his peculiar behaviors really, I felt.

I would have gone with three stars as to be honest it isn't a badly written book, I just didn't like how it jumped around so much or the characters. However the big clincher for me was the ending, I don't do spoilers as a rule and I won't here however, I was left thinking um where is the rest of the story? I hate when books end as this one did, although, reading the reviews out there a lot of people loved or really liked it. Give it a go, you may be in the lovers camp, sadly it just didn't do it for me. 2/5 this time, I would read this author again if I came across their work but I won't be actively seeking it out.

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  1. I tend to enjoy books that have characters that are somewhat unlikable so I wonder if I would like this. I also like the idea of going back into a family's past and uncovering mysteries.

  2. Thanks for the honest review. If I don't like the characters, then the storyline really has to pull me in or else I don't enjoy it either.


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