Alert
Close

Top the Trizzle leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

Highlights

Open

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!
AARP-iPad-ePub-app

FALL 2014 NATIONAL EVENT

Come to San Diego!

Sept. 4 - 6

Technology and Innovation

AARP TV

Watch episodes of AARP Live and other AARP broadcasts.

Most Popular

Viewed

How to Handle Your Boomerang Kids

Love your children, says novelist Meg Moore, and they’ll return it — or maybe they’ll just return

Father and children's feet at kitchen table-New Arrivals Book

Moore uses solid writing to bring some welcome depth to the family-dysfunction genre. — Sean Justice/Getty Images

The most sympathetic characters in The Arrivals are Owens père and mère: They feel their children’s pain — until they realize maybe they shouldn’t have to. When the ever-patient William loses his cool on a particularly hectic day, telling Ginny, “I’m just tired of … the mess,” he’s describing much more than his inability to find the phone beneath the clutter. Ginny spends an inordinate amount of time doing laundry; toward the end of the book, the washing machine breaks down (symbolism alert!) along with her composure. (At a Laundromat she finally informs Lillian, “I expect you to act like the adult and the mother that you are.” ’Bout time, Ginny!)

Yet the fact that Ginny is needed once more sends her caroming from disappointment to delight and back again. Why aren’t her children happy and secure enough not to need her? Was it something she (mis-)did that made them this dependent? “I’m sixty-three years old,” she tells William after weeks of absorbing their kids’ crises. “This is what I’ve done with my life. They’re my masterpiece, and they’re broken.”

Bent, maybe, but hardly broken beyond repair. A series of somewhat predictable climactic events leads the entire Owen brood a few steps closer to maturity — which is to say, a few steps closer to understanding that even if a family can’t have it all, with a little compromise it can still salvage something that’s pretty darn good.

Christina Ianzito is a researcher-writer for AARP The Magazine.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

AARP Bookstore

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Regal Cinemas movie theater

Members can save $3 on soda + popcorn combos at Regal Cinemas. Restrictions apply.

Tanger Outlets

Members can get a free Tanger Coupon Book with discount offers from top brand names.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.