Monday, April 13, 2020

Tin Man (Sarah Winman)

It's difficult to offer a clear synopsis of Tin Man -- not much seems to be happening, but actually, everything is happening. The main story revolves around only three characters (Ellis, Michael, and Annie), but begins with Dora, Ellis's mother. Dora wins a replica of Van Gogh's Sunflowers painting in a raffle. The importance of that painting comes back throughout the book.

Ellis and Michael are the first to meet when they are young and quickly become best friends, and then more. A decade later, Ellis is married to Annie and Michael has disappeared. Much of Tin Man is about what really happened in the years in-between.

There are so many overarching themes in Tin Man. Among them: love, friendship, loss, grief, and coming to terms with who you really are. I wish that Winman spent more time delving deeper into these themes and spending more time with each character. Instead, this short book is filled with description after description. While the prose is beautiful, I was left not knowing the characters as much I would have liked.