Tin Man by Sarah Winman

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Sarah Winman is an extraordinary gift to readers.

Tin Man may be so very different from A Year of Marvellous Ways, a book filled with magical realism, mermaids and dream-like writing (and reading), but it was still overflowing with her signature love and heart. Tin Man is a tiny book, both in stature and its page count, but those 200 or so pages contain an incredibly beautiful story about love and friendship. Those 200 pages are not ones to rip through either. Instead this took many days to complete, more than other books usually with this page count. But, not that I was looking to race through this – Winman’s writing forces you to slow down, savour and ponder every word. Her talent with words and phrases is exceptional. This tiny book exploded with so much emotion and heart and there were many times where tears were streaming down my face but I did not realize it. It’s just so very special. The ending left me bereft and in a puddle of tears, sobbing and weeping.

Winman’s debut novel is one I’ve owned for years on my Kobo, probably since it was first published in 2011. The Reading Women Challenge has a square where you are to select a book that has been on your TBR the longest, and I will definitely now be reading When God was a Rabbit for that part of the challenge for sure. That decision was made for me halfway through Tin Man.

There isn’t much to say here except an urging for you to read it too. A beautiful story reflecting on the love and friendship of Ellis and Michael, and Ellis’ wife Annie. And Ellis’ mother Dora. And just everything and everyone. It’s so incredibly wonderful. Your heart will squeeze tight and you’ll be left in awe of Winman’s special gift.

There are two cover designs for the Tin Man. The one provided by Penguin Random House Canada (Viking) with the sunflowers is an incredibly powerful and meaningful choice. The UK cover is the one that features the man on the bike. That cover, as well, is very meaningful. I love when that kind of attention is paid to cover design! I’m partial to the sunflower cover – the flowers have (glowing) gold wisps across them and the sunflowers will hit you with all the force of their meaning and importance in the story.


I was left weeping uncontrollably at the end. What an incredibly beautiful story. One of those where I had to go into hiding at home to weep in private. So beautiful.