Some time ago, I read a book by Sarah Winman called When God Was A Rabbit and loved it. My love of that book held up on a re-read last year and I read her second novel, A Year of Marvellous Ways back in 2016 and loved it. Both are beautiful stories featuring fascinating characters and they both felt like unique stories. That was why I was so excited to discover that her third novel, Tin Man, was being published in Canada. Small aside – months after it was published in the UK!
Tin Man is a beautiful story about friendship and love and life and loss, themes that were also present in her first two novels. It is a story about two 12 year old boys who become best friends and sets out to answer what happened between them as they great into men and moved on in life. We first meet Ellis as a grown man and Michael is not in his life. The section of the novel titled, Ellis, starts like this:
“In the front bedroom, propped up among the books, is a color photograph of three people, a woman and two men. They are tightly framed, their arms around one another, and the world beyond is out of focus, and the world on either side excluded.” (Winman, page 9)
That drew me in because I instantly wanted to know who those three people were and what their stories were. Winman delivered just that, telling the story of Michael and Ellis and then Annie when she and Ellis marry, first through Ellis’ viewpoint and then through Michael’s. Tin Man was at times, heartbreaking and I shed some tears reading this one. But it was also a lovely and warm story about what can happen to and within a friendship. I was admittedly sad when the story ended because I wanted it to continue – not because Winman left loose ends, but just because I came to love Ellis and Michael and their story.
I love beautiful reads (and all sorts of reads, obviously) but upon finishing Tin Man, I felt really grateful to have the opportunity to read so many lovely stories. And so lucky that there are so many out there I haven’t yet read! I will gladly add Tin Man to my bookshelf and I’m sure I will read it again in the future.