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Trains and Loversby Alexander McCall Smith
The latest stand-alone novel by Alexander McCall Smith is a slight departure from his usual fare. It lacks the charm and lightness of his other offerings but gives, instead, a truly heartfelt dissertation on love.
Melancholy, poignant, and bittersweet, Trains and Lovers has four tales of romance — warts and all. Four strangers take a long train ride, sharing their personal stories along the way. Andrew tells his own love story, Kay tells the love story of her parents, Hugh tells a story of his slightly sinister entanglement, and David tells his story of a lifetime of longing for an unrequited love.
McCall Smith takes a ride on the serious side this time around; he paints a picture that is just a little more substantial than his usual "comfort food of literature" fare, and it is definitely worth a read.
Synopses & Reviews
The rocking motion of the train as it speeds along, the sound of its wheels on the rails... There’s something special about this form of travel that makes for easy conversation, which is just what happens to the four strangers who meet in Trains and Lovers.
As they journey by rail from Edinburgh to London, the four travelers pass the time by sharing tales of trains that have changed their lives. A young, keen-eyed Scotsman recounts how he turned a friendship with a female coworker into a romance by spotting an anachronistic train in an eighteenth-century painting. An Australian woman shares how her parents fell in love and spent their life together running a railroad siding in the remote Australian Outback. A middle-aged American patron of the arts sees two young men saying goodbye in a train station and recalls his own youthful crush on another man. And a young Englishman describes how exiting his train at the wrong station allowed him to meet an intriguing woman whom he impulsively invited to dinner — and into his life.
Here is Alexander McCall Smith at his most enchanting, exploring the nature of love — and trains — in a collection of romantic, intertwined stories.
ldquo;The best thing McCall Smith has written so far....He is a virtuoso storyteller whose tales from the human heart remain very definitely on track.” The Scotsman
“McCall Smith’s deceivingly simple prose style can be both disarming and deeply affecting....That four strangers should meet and tell such compelling stories is highly unlikely, but such is McCall Smith’s ability to draw us into his kindly world, disbelief is more than willingly suspended.” Sydney Morning Herald
About the Author
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, the 44 Scotland Street series and the Corduroy Mansions series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He lives in Scotland.
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