Review & Tour: The London Train

The London Train

The London Train
By Tessa Hadley
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062011831, June 2011, 352pp.)

The Short of It:

Understated, quiet and lovely.

The Rest of It:

Paul and his second wife Elise have had issues in the past, but at the moment, they seem to be doing well. That is, until he leaves her to live with his pregnant daughter in a ramshackle flat with a couple of strangers. While Paul struggles to find his place in this new arrangement, Cora finds herself utterly conflicted over her recent separation from her husband Robert. The two stories intersect to create a new dynamic that force these characters to face life, head on.

This is a book of moments. As a whole, it’s very quiet and simple but there are moments within it that beg to be reread, or even read out loud. There is a lilting, pleasing tone to the writing that I found quite enjoyable. Although at first glance nothing much happens, as this is not a plot-driven novel, there is a lot that happens within the characters. Revelations. Realizations. Understanding.

Once, Cora had believed that living had built a cumulative bank of memories, thickening and deepening as time went on, shoring you against emptiness. She had used to treasure up relics from every phase of her life as it passed, as if they were holy. Now that seemed to her a falsely consoling model of experience. The present was always paramount, in a way that thrust you forward: empty, but also free.

Readers who enjoy reflection and contemplative musing will truly appreciate this novel. The writing was lovely and it left me with a deep sense of peace. The London Train was longlisted for the Orange Prize but didn’t make the shortlist. A real shame if you ask me.

TLC Book Tours

To view Ms. Hadley’s other tours stops, click here.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.

Shope Indie Bookstores

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

About these ads

22 Responses

  1. I loved this author’s first book: London is the Best Place in America, but haven’t read anything else by her since. Glad this was a good one.

  2. I put this one on my wishlist after you introduced it a week or so ago….the whole “deep sense of peace” makes me want it at the top of my TBR !

  3. I have this on my TBR list – so glad you enjoyed it. Now if I could only get through all the books on my Nook so I can read some fun summer stuff.

    BTW, I have the Nook from last summer (just before the color version). My husband is getting an iPad so I’m not spending a dollar on an ereader, until I decide if I really need an iPad (which sounds great). I watch TV/movies on my iphone all the time while working out so the iPad is actually a good option for me.

    • I know from my limited testing with the iPad (for work) that it’s a device that I wouldn’t really get much use of. It’s AWESOME but I carry too much as it is and I can’t read on that screen like I can on my Kindle.

  4. I am really looking forward to reading this one. I’m glad you liked it!

  5. I do enjoy novels like that from time to time. I’ll have to make a note of this.

  6. I have this and will read it…I am really into Sister by Rosamund Lupton…it is one of those soft hitting books, too…I have a feeling you would love it…but I have a soft spot for English settings…and series and characters…and tea!!!

  7. I just got a copy of this book sent to me by the publisher and I was SO excited, as I had been wanting to read this one. Your review has me even more excited!

  8. This sounds like a book that is understated but beautiful.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour Ti! I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.

  9. This one sounds really good. Sometimes I look books that just tell a story. It doesn’t have to be a crazy ride.

  10. This is set to be a favorite among the book blogsphere. I like the cover!

  11. I recently read another review of this book for the same tour and it sounded like a completely different book than the one you read!!! I’m curious to read it to see which books it turns out to be!

  12. I’ve been curious about this one, and now you’ve made it sound so good. I’ll keep this in mind for when I need a quiet read.

  13. Usually not my genera preference but it sounds interesting.

  14. You have such a way with words…loved this review and makes me want to get this book…NOW!!

  15. I’m glad you loved this! I just read this last month and thought it was a good read too!

  16. I think I have entirely bypassed even looking at a description of this book because of the cover. Something about it screamed chick-lit to me. Yet again an example of the old adage: don’t judge a book by its cover. This really sounds like something I would enjoy.

  17. I really want to read this one. I missed the tour and was so bummed! Your review makes it sound so good.
    2 Kids and Tired Books

  18. [...] Jio 30. In Stitches by Anthony Youn, M.D. 31. The Gin & Chowder Club by Nan Rossiter 32. The London Train by Tessa Hadley 33. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell 34. Across the [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 492 other followers

%d bloggers like this: