The unforgettable and emotionally devastating new novel from Sarah Winman, author of the international bestseller WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT and the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS.
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.
Published 27th July 2017 by Wildfire Books
There was something so appealing about this book when I first saw it doing the rounds on Social Media – the yellow being so very striking! Indeed, the colour yellow is a theme within this book, inspired by a painting of Sunflowers won in a raffle and symbolising hope, friendship, love and strength.
Ellis and Michael meet at twelve years old, and instantly connect in a bond which spans decades. The first half is told by Ellis, overcome with grief and loneliness as he looks back on his life and losses. The second is from Michael, whose story fills in the gaps left by Ellis, as he gives an aching account of unrequited love and beautiful friendship.
This is a short book. There isn’t twists and turns and there’s very little I can say about the story without rehashing the whole book. What I will say is that the writing is absolutely stunning. Despite being just under 200 pages, it isn’t a book to race through – rather to slowly savour every single word.
It took me a few pages to get used to the writing style. There’s no speech punctuation, which at first I found strange. However when I slowed right down, I really enjoyed it and felt it added an intensity of emotion to the book. Before long, I didn’t even notice the lack of it.
Tin Man is a spellbinding book. With such beautiful prose and aching emotion, it had me entranced. The overall theme of love, friendship and acceptance, extended to even the minor characters, throughout this book is incredibly touching. A small book, but with a big impact- I really enjoyed this one.