Thursday, 2 January 2014

Review: The Railwayman's Wife - Ashley Hay

In a small town on the land's edge, in the strange space at a war's end, a widow, a poet and a doctor each try to find their own peace, and their own new story. On the south coast of New South Wales, in 1948, people chase their dreams through the books in the railway's library. Anikka Lachlan searches for solace after her life is destroyed by a single random act. Roy McKinnon, who found poetry in the mess of war, has lost his words and his hope. Frank Draper is trapped by the guilt of those his treatment and care failed on their first day of freedom. All three struggle with the same question: how now to be alive. Written in clear, shining prose and with an eloquent understanding of the human heart, The Railwayman's Wife explores the power of beginnings and endings, and how hard it can be sometimes to tell them apart. It's a story of life, loss and what comes after; of connection and separation, longing and acceptance. 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.

My thoughts:
I enjoyed this book. It was quiet, reflective and sad. I liked how it was written, sometimes the style does not work but here it certainly did.  Maybe cos of the sad reflective style of it all.

Anikka is married to Mac. But something happens and shatters her life. She shares the story with Frank, a doctor who saw horrors in the war, and Roy, a poet struggling to write after the war. They all deal with going on with life, in one way or another. As they all live close to each other they meet.

The book jumps a bit, but just as I mind it in some books, I do not mind at all here. It fits the style. She thinks back and shares those memories with us.

It's not a book where you should expect drama or fireworks. But it was still a book I read fast and could not put down. I would recommend it and I feel like I should read more books set in Australia. I do always like them. There is just something about them.

One thing though, I never did understand where from her dad came from. See, she can speak a bit of Finnish, ok so she is Finnish? Well then she talks about her dad and a thunder God, sure it could be but I am thinking more of Norse myths here. And she said something about coming from Scandinavia, Finland is not a part of Scandinavia. But her name would be more Finnish, but her dad's name is Swedish. Haha, yes I nitpick, I am a Swedish speaking Finn after all.

Conclusion:
Anyway, a wonderful story even with it's sadness. It also shows how some manages to move forward and some gets stuck.

Would I read more by this author?
yes

Cover
Nice

Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 2nd 2014 by Allen & Unwin (first published January 1st 2013)
Fiction
For review

44 comments:

  1. I probably wouldn't pick up on the disparities in her background. The book sounds interesting.

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    1. That would be just me, it was nothing that stood out I was just thinking too much

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  2. Now this something I would enjoy, the time period fascinates me

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    1. It really is such a good time period

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  3. Sounds really lovely. Is there any chance Annika could be a Swe-Fin girl, like you? Then her Swedish name and the name of her dad would make sense.

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    1. I did think about that and came to the conclusion that yes they might be and her dad or grandad changed their main language to be more Finnish cos of the whole We are Finns era. But not their names for some reason ;)

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  4. I don't think this is my type of read, but I'm glad you enjoyed it and the cover is lovely.

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    1. I need fiction like this on my life, it takes me way from the Ton, the vampires and the dragons

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  5. Everything from the cover to the story seems like something I'd enjoy, but only when I'm in the right mood. These quiet stories always stay with me.
    Great review.

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    1. That they do, it is still with me, not like other books that I might really enjoy but they fade away the moment I close them

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  6. This sounds excellent and a lovely cover. Another book to add to my growing TBR. LOL

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  7. Indeed, that's a great cover. :)

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  8. I miss so many good books because I avoid "sad," but I'm okay with that,

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    1. It was not...oh I should not say that, yes it was sad, whatever way you look at it

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  9. Nice, Steady reads sometimes are the most heart pulling!

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  10. I love historical reads, and the railroad is important to my history as my grandparents met while working for the railroad!

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  11. I would also be confused about that issue about her origins. I'm particular about details like that so I get where you're coming from. Maybe you should interview or tweet the writer to get the answers?

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    1. But it is a thing that you would only think of if you are from here. I really should

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  12. Pretty cover on this one! Glad the more reflective style of writing worked for you:)

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  13. This sounds fantastic! Thanks for putting it on my radar.

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  14. Sounds good but sad. I bet very few readers would pick up on the Finnish/Scandanavian/Norse details but it would be interesting to see what the author would answer to what you noticed. Thanks for telling us about the book. I hadn't heard of it before.

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    1. I do wonder what she meant, for once I could nitpick as I can never do that otherwise ;)

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  15. I don't think I've read a book set in Autralia despite the Keri Arthur ones but it's different. It sounds like an intense book, I didn't know this one.

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    1. *thinks about it* I have read very few too and I do want more

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  16. A good sad book is needed from time to time. :)

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  17. This does sound good and I like that Australia setting. I'm nitpicky too.

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  18. Oh how interesting. I'll put this one on the wishlist for when I'm up for a bit of a sad story. And LOL at the nitpicking. I've had things pop up like that too where it's just a little hard to let it go. ::snort:: Thanks for the heads up on this one!

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    1. I loved to be able to actually nitpick for once, I seldom get to so I was all haha yay

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  19. I think I'd enjoy this one. I love books set in Australia.

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  20. I've only read a few books set in Australia, mostly YA, and I really want to read more. This sounds wonderful, I love hearing a book was read fast and hard to put down. :-) Great review!

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    1. Thanks :D Last Aussie book I read was a YA too

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  21. I read heaps more Australian fiction this year, and yet I missed this one. Thanks for great review B, definitely adding this one to my must read list!

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  22. I like the sound of this one but I'm hesitate because I already know it is sad. I'm such a wimp.

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    1. I know but...it depends on what you want in the end so maybe you will not get that sad...but still there are many forms of sad here

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