The Tin Man - Sarah Winman

Genre: Romance/Fiction 
Synopsis: This is almost a love story. Ellis and Michael are twelve when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of overbearing fathers. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more. But then we fast forward a decade or so, to find that Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question, what happened in the years between? This is almost a love story. But it's not as simple as that.


Review:  I liked this book - more than expected once I got to Michael's section - and while I feel the raw ideas and characters were there, I also felt that I couldn't get at them through the layers of whimsical, fractured prose that seemed more intent on conveying a style than a story. Beautiful writing, it just didn't convey the story very well. It was like looking through a dirty window, trying to get at the full effect but being unable to. It was also too short to adequately tell the story, though I don't think I could have read much more of it in its current style.

 I'd love to have known more about Dora, Annie, Ellis's childhood, Mabel, Chris's life etc. They're wonderful characters. Also, perhaps due to my own inattention, I was a bit confused for the first while about when people left and came back and left again, but I don't think the time hopping, divided by character, was the best. I might like it more with a second read, which I probably will grant it now that I know how to set my expectations, but I think I would always want more from this book.

Rating: 3/5 

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