I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, but had heard some amazing things. This tiny book has so much packed into it that I don’t know where to start, so I’ll just say that I loved it.
Tin Man is about the lives of three people: Ellis, Michael, and Annie. Ellis and Michael become friends in Oxford, England when they’re 11 years old, and since they are both nearly parentless, their friendship is intense and close quickly. They grow up together and their friendship moves to the next level without either of them ever acknowledging it out loud or even acknowledging it.
When the book opens, it’s 1996, and all we know is Ellis is alone, unhappy, and his wife, Annie, has died. As the story unfolds, we see Michael and Ellis grow from boys into teenagers and then into men. How they explore their friendship and push it to limits that were unspeakable given the time period. It’s heart-breaking and gorgeous, and you can drink in the French atmosphere like you’re right there with them.
“And I wonder what the sound of a heart breaking might be. And I think it might be quiet, unperceptively so, and not dramatic at all. Like the sound of an exhausted swallow falling gently to earth.”
I’ve read so many sad books recently, but I think this one had a great balance of happy and sad. HIGHLY recommend.