Review: Tin Man by Sarah Winman

Alexis: Read 11/28/18

“I said to him that just because you can’t remember, doesn’t mean the past isn’t out there. All those precious moments are still there somewhere.”

This is a poignant story of love and grief. This is a story of first loves, final loves, and dying loves.

Winman’s writing style is gorgeous. It’s simple yet raw and peppered with beautiful descriptions and lyricism. Throughout the book, her lack of quotation marks echoes Ellis’ silent grief.

I love the recurring motifs of the color yellow and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. Nora, Ellis’ mother, is impactful and realistic, and she sticks throughout the story in the minds of both Ellis and Michael as a reminder to stay true to themselves.

Both Ellis and Michael are realistic characters. Ellis deals with his emotions by withdrawing and keeping to himself, while Michael deals with them through writing. Without giving too much away, both of them end up being more similar than either of them thought. Tin Man is an aptly named book.

I love that this book addresses the importance of art and writing, as said by Nora: “Painting flowers as a sign of friendship and welcome. Men and boys should be capable of beautiful things.”

My only criticism is that Annie does not feel as vibrant as all the other characters. I loved her introduction scene, but I wanted to understand her relationship with Ellis as deeply as I understood Ellis and Michael’s relationship.

All in all, this was a beautiful and quietly harrowing read that I highly recommend.

VERDICT: 5 stars

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