There are rare times that a book will reach out and grab hold of your heart and soul and affect you in ways that you never knew the written word could do. Tin Man by Sarah Winman is such a unique and marvelous tale.
Told in two distinct parts, Tin Man is a love story but so much more. It is the memoir of two men, Ellis and Michael, who, during their youth, were shy, young lovers. Ellis, however, went on to marry the woman of dreams, Annie, and the three of them formed a very close, tight friendship. But the book is more than just a love story. Through the young men we learn and we feel what it was like to be in love with someone who society and family and norms forbids. Through their love we feel their pain and confusion and also the realization that, had they been in a different time, place or family, their lives could have been so profoundly different. Whether that life would have been better or worse, we will never know, only that there was a missed opportunity and a memory of “what could have been.”
Winman is a powerful writer who crafts tales with so much feeling and depth that the reader is capable of developing an empathy for the characters she has created. She proved herself to be a talented storyteller with her book, When God Was a Rabbit, but she surpasses all that we thought imaginable with Tin Man, which truly is her best work to date. Tin Man is destined to be a classic and truly is a “must read” piece of fiction.