Book Drunkard

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” L.M. Montgomery

The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay, review

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Amidst the strange, silent aftermath of World War II, a widow, a poet, and a doctor search for lasting peace and fresh beginnings in this internationally acclaimed, award-winning novel.

When Anikka Lachlan’s husband, Mac, is killed in a railway accident, she is offered—and accepts—a job at the Railway Institute’s library and searches there for some solace in her unexpectedly new life. But in Thirroul, in 1948, she’s not the only person trying to chase dreams through books. There’s Roy McKinnon, who found poetry in the mess of war, but who has now lost his words and his hope. There’s Frank Draper, trapped by the guilt of those his medical treatment and care failed on their first day of freedom. All three struggle to find their own peace, and their own new story.

But along with the firming of this triangle of friendship and a sense of lives inching towards renewal come other extremities—and misunderstandings. In the end, love and freedom can have unexpected ways of expressing themselves.


THE RAILWAYMAN’S WIFE, by Ashley Hay is a good book, albeit a bit slow.  I was more than halfway through the book when I finally got interested in what was happening.  And, then what I thought was going to happen was royally snatched from me!  (I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.  I enjoy when a book has an unexpected ending)

For some reason, I almost always have the same experience when reading literary fiction.  The tone of the book seems one note, the characters aren’t people I sympathize with or are drawn to, and most of the action happens “off camera”, so to speak.  There is a lot of emotion as most of the book tells of the grief the characters are living through and the words are beautiful.  I especially enjoyed the poetry and give Ashley Hay well deserved applause.

The book wasn’t for me in the long run, but people who enjoy a slower paced story with a lot of descriptions will really enjoy it.

With a sweet story that explores grief and how different people react to it, I give THE RAILWAYMAN’S WIFE 3 stars***.

*Many thanks to Andrea from Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

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