“Tin man” by Sarah Winman – Book Review

Having just finished this novel about five minutes ago… all I can say is WOW!  My regard for literary fiction increases every time I read such a quality novel.

This is a novel about three people, two men and one woman who have a bond that is stronger than most people will ever experience.

Dora Judd is a stifled woman. A housewife in the 1950s, she is under the thumb of a domineering husband. Her life holds little joy and is as colourless as the brown rooms of her home.  When she wins a copy of Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers‘ at a raffle, she guards the painting fiercely.  It is her little bit of colour in a drab existence.  When she gives birth to her son, Ellis, love and joy once again are a part of her life. She recognizes her son’s artistic talent and encourages his efforts.  When Dora passes away, his father demands he give up such a foolish pastime – so at sixteen years old he begins work as a panel beater at the Cowley car plant in Oxford. Hence Ellis Judd, our protagonist, is the ‘Tin Man‘ of the title.

1963 We meet Michael our second protagonist as a motherless boy who is taken in by a caring woman named Mabel.  At twelve years of age he meets Mabel and also Ellis for the first time. These two people will show him the exquisite nature of acceptance for the first time. Michael is gay. Since his mother died, his father has realized Michael’s true nature and has shunned him from his affections.

Michael and Ellis are boyhood friends – and for a brief time during a trip to France, they are more than friends…  Ellis is the love of Michael’s life.

When Ellis introduces Michael to Annie, they love one another immediately. The trio share a friendship deep and true.

“I could never bring anyone into our three. I had no room to love anyone else.”

Annie is the love of Ellis’s life.  Skip ahead in time and Ellis Judd is forty-five years old.  His life’s joy has vanished with the passing of his beloved wife, Annie. He has chosen to work the night shift at the plant since Annie’s death as he cannot sleep at night anymore. They had thirteen loving years together. Now she is buried in the same cemetery as the author, C.S. Lewis.

“Her name on the stone still drew disbelief and sadness.”

Winman is a storyteller with enviable prowess. She writes with deep compassion and empathy for all of her characters. Because of this, they become very real to the reader and their pain becomes your pain, their joy becomes your joy.

Tin Man” is a book about acceptance, loneliness, heartbreak, grief and loss.  A novel of true love and the myriad forms that it comes in…

Highly recommended!

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from G.P. Putnam’s Sons via Edelweiss.  This is my honest review of an exemplary novel.

Sarah Winman (born 1964) is a British actress and author. In 2011 her debut novel When God Was a Rabbit became an international bestseller and won several awards including New Writer of the Year in the Galaxy National Book Awards.  “Tin Man” is her third novel. She now lives in London, England.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Edelweiss, Favorite books, Literary fiction, Love stories and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to “Tin man” by Sarah Winman – Book Review

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  5. Mini says:

    Loved this review. Exactly what I feel about this book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. Sandra says:

    I still have the pleasure of this book to come. I also had the pleasure of seeing Sarah Winman speak at a recent local book festival. She is a lovely speaker as well as a talented writer. A Year of Marvellous Ways is one of my favourite books. I enjoyed When God Was a Rabbit but nowhere near as much as Marvellous. All three books are totally different from each other. I’m glad you loved this one, Lynne 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. carhicks says:

    Awesome review Lynne. It is beautiful when we find a book that speaks to us yet in a quiet way. I had never heard of this book, but now will try to find it. Wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your reading world takes in these literary novels and fully enjoys them as they are meant to be, writing your beautiful reviews. I value the “quietly beautful” you see in them, and your lovely expressions of appreciation, Lynne.


  11. Annie says:

    I’ve read so many great things about this book, it’s on my wishlist ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Amazing review! I absolutely adored this book and have a review for it being posted on Sunday. You put in to words exactly how I felt about it. I keep describing it as quietly beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Priyasha says:

    Awesome review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Such a wonderful read

    Liked by 1 person

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