finished reading

“Such fascinating things, libraries. She closes her eyes. She could
walk inside and step into a murder, a love story, a complete account
of somebody else’s life, or mutiny on the high seas. Such potential;
such adventure—there’s a shimmer of malfeasance in trying other
ways of being.”
― Ashley Hay, The Railwayman's Wife

I loved this book. It's a beautiful examination of life after a loss--the loss of a loved one, the loss of witnessing war, and how self-identity is forced to change because of the loss. The setting is a character, too, though, the small, coastal town on the edge of New South Wales, Australia. Ani, Mac, Roy, Isabel, Frank, Iris, and Mrs. May are characters that I felt for, genuinely felt for. It's lovely. A lovely book.

From the publisher:
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 explores the power of beginnings and endings, and how hard it can sometimes be to tell them apart. Most of all, it celebrates love in all its forms, and the beauty of discovering that loving someone can be as extraordinary as being loved yourself.


Paula said...

I think this one will go on my TBR list! Which is growing and growing!!

The Gal Herself said...

I don't think I've seen you this enthusiastic about a book in a long time.