Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith

Publisher: Knopf Canada
Pages: 256
Received: Received a copy from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 11, 2013
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Goodreads Synopsis:

A wonderful new stand-alone novel from the internationally beloved and bestselling Alexander McCall Smith: a story that explores the nature of love--and trains--through a series of intertwined romantic tales.

The rocking of the train car, 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 4 strangers who meet in Trains and Lovers. As they travel by rail from Edinburgh to London, they entertain one another with tales of how trains have changed their lives. A young, keen-eyed Scotsman recounts how he turned a friendship with a young woman co-worker into a romance by spotting an anachronistic train in an 18th-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 arts patron sees 2 young men saying goodbye in the station and recalls his 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. Here is Alexander McCall Smith at his most enchanting.

My Review:

So this is my first Alexander McCall Smith book, and I've heard a lot of great things about his other books but they are all series and I wasn't ready to get into a new one. Well after reading this book I think I may need to check out his other books (even though they are series) because his writing is so absorbing and real that you just have to fall in love with the story. Honestly, with this book the cover was the first thing that caught my attention, and it's not really what I thought it would be about, and yet at the same time it kind og was.

This book tells the tale of four people who are sitting together on a train and as time goes on, each of them start sharing their stories of love and romance. This book has so many beautiful quotes that it's hard to pick one to share... but I knew after reading the first chapter of this book that I would be in love by the end. Alexander McCall Smith describes what love is to different people in that first chapter, and from there begins a journey of four different people and their experiences with love.

Each of the stories that are told are about a chance encounter with a person, and the stories all revolve around trains in one way or another. I was really interested in how McCall Smith wrote this book, one person begins their story and something about that story sets another person off into their tale, but eventually we come back to how each of these stories end... some are happy and some are not, but they all learn something new about what love is to each of them.

By the end of this book many readers will look over what they think about love and how they see relationships. And the one thing that really got me with this is don't let yourself be scared to say something because in the end it will eat you up, and you will always wonder what could have been. This is a short book (and it's actually smaller in size than I expected) and this is hard to put down because you love reading about each of these love stories and how they came about. And you will want to keep going to find out how everything ends for each of the characters.

This book is so real, I can see myself having a random conversation with a person on a long train ride and learning so much about them. Alexander McCall Smith has warmed my heart with this adorable book.


  1. I need to borrow this from you! It sounds fantastic!!

  2. This sounds like something that is right up my alley. I love books like this, where people are sharing stories about their pasts.

    Kate @ Ex Libris



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