Tin Man

Sarah Winman. Putnam, $23 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7352-1872-7
Ellis Judd doesn’t know he has a heart. He’s been too busy protecting it, as Winman (When God Was a Rabbit) reveals in this achingly beautiful novel about love and friendship. The story unfolds in luminous prose as Ellis, five years a widower in 1996 Oxford, his grief still palpable, looks back on his life, reveling in his mother’s love of art, which she shared with him and his closest friend, Michael. Ellis sacrificed his artistic ambitions when his abusive father made him follow in his footsteps to work at a car plant. His life implodes when his mother dies, and he finds comfort in his relationship with Michael, which evolves into something much deeper—but then Ellis falls in love and marries a free spirit named Annie. The three adults become an inseparable trio until Michael suddenly leaves Oxford for London. The tale’s second half is told in a different but equally powerful voice through Michael’s diary, which gives insight into his childhood up through the year he spends away, as well as the reason he returns to his two companions. In sharp portrayals of the three adults, the author shows how, despite all their challenges, they are able to love and support each other. Without sentimentality or melodrama, Winman stirringly depicts how people either interfere with or allow themselves and others to follow their hearts. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/02/2018
Release date: 06/05/2018
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 333 pages - 978-0-525-63188-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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