Thursday, August 25, 2011

The London Train by Tessa Hadley

The London Train by Tessa Hadley is a novel in two parts, subtly connected. The first part tells the story of Paul, a man living in the countryside with his second wife. Soon after his mother dies he learns his daughter from his first marriage has moved out and gone missing. He goes to London in search of her only to find her living in chaos with her lover. At first Paul wants to save her, but then he begins to envy her. In the second portion of The London Train, Cora moves back to Cardiff to escape her marriage, renovating the house she inherited from her parents. While there she gets a telephone call- her husband has gone missing. The two stories are tied together by a chance moment on a London train, a moment that will have grave consequences for both Paul and Cora.

The London Train is a quiet yet eloquent novel, Hadley has a subtle way of describing things that sneaks up on the reader with its beauty. That said, I also found it rather detached and unemotional at times making it difficult to connect with the characters. It is the kind of book who's writing I enjoyed, but I never became fully immersed in the story itself. This may be due to the fact that not a lot actually happens in the novel, The London Train is about the internal changes rather than the external, which means there isn't a lot of plot to get the pages turning quickly. In addition, none of the characters are actually likable, at least not to me, so unless they were going to get a brand new personality (which, I admit, Paul kinda did) I didn't really care about their emotional development. That's not a bad book, it's just a personal preference. Ultimately, Hadley's writing provides a lovely package for the novel The London Train, unfortunately for me, I found myself unsatisfied with what was inside.

Release Date: January 6th,, 2011
Pages: 336
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This review was a part of TLC Book Tours. Click here to read what other tour hosts thought. For the purpose of this review I was provided with a copy of the book which did not require a positive review. The opinions expressed in this post are completely my own.

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