Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review consideration.

Title: Trains and Lovers
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher: Pantheon
Expected Release: June 11, 2013
Source: publisher (Edelweiss)

Synopsis (from Amazon):

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 this collection of romantic, intertwined stories.

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.

Alexander McCall Smith’s new book, Trains and Lovers, is a stand-alone novel not tied to any of his series.

“A friendship maybe be conceived in four hours; a short book finished and put away; a life remembered.”

I love Alexander McCall Smith’s writing style. His characters and stories need no pageantry. He can say so much in so few words! I find it absolutely stunning.

Trains and Lovers dances on the edge of being a collection of four short stories. The four travelers sporadically and spontaneously pause the story with their own introspection or to briefly converse with each other. This brings it all together into one cohesive novel.

Each story held my attention page after page. I couldn’t stop reading the mini-mystery that came along with the Englishman’s story. But my favorite of all was the Australian woman’s account of her parents and the profound impact of their very simple, well-lived, and well-loved life.

Trains and Lovers is an experience; the pages flew by. Alexander McCall Smith did not disappoint!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

  • This sounds interesting! I really enjoy short story turned novel books!

  • I’ve only read one of his books, and it was the first book he released I think. I remember that I found it charming and understated. I need to read more, and this might just fit the bill!

  • I don’t think I’ve read any of his other books, but this sounds like something I’d like and that cover is so sweet!