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Arms Wide Open

by Tom Winter

Book Club Recommendations Books of the Month Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Family Drama Modern and Contemporary Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on Arms Wide Open

May 2014 Book of the Month.

A novel of family, identity and aging.  Jack and Meredith are non-identical twins of a single mum now rapidly falling into dementia.  Their father died before they were born.  Both siblings are at a disastrous stage in their lives, Meredith is in the throes of divorce, Jack with a career falling apart.  In the midst of all this chaos they discover their father is not dead.  How they cope with this and the  trauma within their own lives is sensitively portrayed in a poignant, bitter-sweet read.

Sarah Broadhurst

Arms Wide Open Synopsis

Jack and Meredith are non-identical twins; the only similarity between them is their lives rapidly falling apart. Jack’s high-flying career in advertising has crashed and burned. Meredith’s world is also crumbling – a decomposing yogurt in her fridge now a symbol of her failed marriage. Her children, Jemima and Luke, offer little support, too consumed with the worlds of online dating and amateur taxidermy.

All their lives, Jack and Meredith believed their father to be dead. One day, a throwaway comment leads Jack to question this, but with their mother fading ever-deeper into the grip of dementia, answers are hard to come by. As revelations start to untangle, the twins soon learn that what you seek is not always what you find…

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Closing date: 31/08/2020

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Arms Wide Open Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Reba Khatun - 'Arms Wide Open is a gem.  Definitely worth reading.  Tom Winter has done it again with this beauty of a book.  He’s turned the simple subjects of everyday life and more into an interesting read.' Read full review >
  • Zarina de Ruiter - 'Despite the tragedies the characters are faced with, the novel is packed full with surprising wit and hope too. The opposites are balanced in an effective way, creating an engrossing and unique novel.' Read full review >
  • Michelle Russ - 'A tale of a dysfunctional family with many skeletons in their closet.' Read full review >
  • Jillian McFrederick - 'The characters are well drawn and the plot moves fast enough to keep us reading. A light read that masks the big themes it contains, it would be a good book for a reading group discussion.' Read full review >
  • Barbara Gaskell - 'As well as the prose I did enjoy the mechanics of the book, slowly going back in time but keeping one foot in the here and now...Recommended.' Read full review >
  • Jade Craddock - 'Incredibly moving, it’s about treasuring life and family and making the most of one’s time and despite the seriousness and depth of its subject matters, Winter manages some moments of pure joy and humour.' Read full review >
  • Georgia Churchill - 'This book brings a lot of emotion and will leave you speechless.' Read full review >
  • Suzanne Marsh - 'I truly loved Arms Wide Open...I highly recommend it to all readers and book clubs.' Read full review >
  • Karen - 'this was a delight to read.  It was both poignant and funny and had a cast of wonderful characters that you could identify and engage with.' Read full review >
  • Katherine Barber - 'Enjoyable tale of family and identity...It isn't the type of book I normally read, but I will seek out his debut novel, as he has a very readable style.' Read full review >
  • Jayne Burton - 'What a wonderful and insightful story about disjointed family life...It is beautifully written, so much so that I wasn’t able to put it down until I had finished, not wanting it to end.' Read full review >
  • Carol Peace - 'Tom Winter does it again another great book.' Read full review >
  • Janet Monks - 'Arms Wide Open has at its heart a family trying to come to terms with life, loss and love. An easy to read, moving yet funny and entertaining tale.' Read full review >
  • Victoria Emerson - 'My first Tom Winter novel, I can’t wait to read more!' Read full review >
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'This was such an individual story leaving me feeling personally engaged with the characters and with a smile on my face each page I turned.' Read full review >
  • Cherrill Deans - 'I was unprepared for a wordsmith!   My perseverance paid off when I realized the cleverness in every line; from emotion, sarcasm, wit and humour to droll observances and painful realities.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Harper - 'A humorous, intelligent and insightful tale.  Arms Wide Open is a real gem of a book which makes you want to hug it to your chest and sigh with contentment.' Read full review >
  • Victoria Whish - 'A bittersweet, ultimately uplifting read that throws its arms out wide and draws you into the heart of a family grappling with life. Compelling, witty and life-affirming.' Read full review >
  • Judith Curtis - 'Arms Wide Open is a brilliant, funny and wise story about love, loss and resilience.  Meredith, Jack and Reggie the dog will stay in my mind for a very long time.  Highly recommended!' Read full review >
  • Susan Andrews - 'A dysfunctional family struggling to cope with circumstances beyond their control. A well written book, with sympathetically handled characters.' Read full review >
  • Rachel Hall - 'I defy you to read this book without a smile frequently appearing on your face! I look forward to his next book and hope this joyous read finds the audience it so deserves!' Read full review >
  • LindyLouMac - 'An extremely poignant read with dementia at its heart, dealt with through humour and sensitivity. Written in language that is clear, succinct and so expressive.'  Read full review >

Arms Wide Open Press Reviews

Tom Winter delights with a deadpan turn of phrase - Daily Mail

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781472101686
Publication date: 17/04/2014
Publisher: Corsair an imprint of Constable and Robinson
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781472101686
Publication date: 17th April 2014
Author: Tom Winter
Publisher: Corsair an imprint of Constable and Robinson
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Genres: Book Club Recommendations, Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Tom Winter

Tom Winter has always made his living from words, first as an editor and writer in magazine publishing, and then as an advertising copywriter and speech writer. His debut novel, Lost & Found, was published in five languages. He lives in Berlin, with a potted plant and a variety of noisy neighbours.

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