Arms Wide Open


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 opinion:

I really enjoyed Tom Winter’s first book, Lost and Found and jumped at the chance when I was offered an advance review of his second book, Arms Wide Open, which will be published in April 2014.

Meredith and Jack are non-identical twins from a dysfunctional family. But hey, what family isn’t dysfunctional I hear you ask? Meredith is a single mother of two typical teenagers whose husband left her for another woman some time ago. She still hangs on to the hope that he will come home to her and fills her time as best she can without ever accepting that he is gone. Meanwhile, her 15 year old daughter has decided to foray into the world of online dating, but thinks it’s a great idea to pretend that she’s in her twenties when talking to men. Jack has led a fairly charmed life, with lots of money and a sports car, but unfortunately no job to go with it. Their mother is ill and seemingly ungrateful towards her frequent visitors.

As with any family, things are not quite as they seem and there are quite a number of skeletons in their closet that need to be brought to the fore for anyone to ever understand how they have got to where they are today.

I was a little disappointed with this book to be honest. I had high hopes for this book after Lost and Found and this one didn’t quite hit the mark for me in the same way. I found this story a little depressing and didn’t really feel a connection to any of the characters. The writing was of a high quality, and the characters were well thought out, I just couldn’t like any of them. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite do it for me, but I think that others will enjoy it.

My rating: Three stars

I was provided with an advance review copy of this book by in return for an honest review


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