I adored A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman, my review of which you can read here, so that when a surprise parcel dropped through my letterbox and revealed itself to be Tin Man, the next Sarah Winman novel, I actually gasped aloud with delight.
My grateful thanks to Vicky Palmer and Katie Brown at Headline for my advanced reader copy of Tin Man in return for an honest review.
Tin Man will be published by Tinder Press on 27th July 2017 and is available for pre-order here.
It begins with a painting won in a raffle: fifteen sunflowers, hung on the wall by a woman who believes that men and boys are capable of beautiful things.
And then there are two boys, Ellis and Michael, who are inseparable.
And the boys become men, and then Annie walks into their lives, and it changes nothing and everything.
My Review of Tin Man
Ellis lives a solitary life, but it is a life peppered with memories of the past.
I’ve been staring at a blank screen and wondering what I can say about Sarah Winman’s Tin Man that will be adequate enough to convey what a beautiful read it is.
Sarah Winman has a unique style. Direct speech is presented without punctuation so that the reader hears it naturally at the same time as the characters. The appeal to the senses is so strong that the writing is visual, auditory and both sensuous and sensual in a kaleidoscope of pattern and refraction. There’s a poetry to the language that left me heartbroken at times. The beauty of the language belies the prosaic brutality of some of the events, like Ellis’s ‘boxing’ moment so that they are all the more impactful.
The plot is quite simple and almost fragmented as the past slides in to colour the present, so that not a great deal of action takes place and yet there are whole lives laid bare and raw. I feel devastated that I’ve finished reading Tin Man. I don’t even want to pick up another book yet as I feel it will spoil this moment.
Tin Man is about hurt and longing, desire and loneliness, love and regret. There’s anger and fear too. Sarah Winman has the ability to write a sentence that attaches itself to your heart and that keeps reverberating with a wistful intensity of what might have been long after the read is finished. I cared deeply about every character, even those mentioned almost in passing. I found it hauntingly sad.
And Ellis, Dora, Annie, Mabel and Michael are not actually characters. They are real people. They are the embodiment of emotions that every one of us has experienced at some point in our lives so that to read Tin Man is not just to read about humanity, but it is also to experience it.
I don’t think Tin Man will necessarily appeal to all readers, but for those it touches as it has touched me, it will be a book they will not easily forget. I thought it was wonderful.
About Sarah Winman
Sarah Winman grew up in Essex and now lives in London. She attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to act in theatre, film and television. She has written two novels, When God Was A Rabbit and A Year Of Marvellous Ways.
You can find Sarah on Facebook.