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.
Don’t worry, love triangle this is not. At first, it kind of feels that way, but soon it becomes obvious that the story is more about recovery and renewal than the triangulation of those three friends.
I will tell you that there is a lot of death in this book, what with WWII, trainwrecks, and other situations. Normally, such a thing wouldn’t bother me, but reading this during the two days that two black men were killed, and then the Dallas Police shootings…it almost didn’t get read. My brain kept connecting the book tragedies with the real life ones, and I was only making the pain and grief worse.
And maybe it was partially due to the events of last week, but this book will make you grieve. It is certainly not a happy book, though it is supposed to be about healing. It’s perhaps a good one to read if you need to let out a few emotions, or feel something deeply. It has that effect. It’s a beautiful book, just very melancholy. I’d recommend it for a cool, rainy fall day, with a big mug of your favorite tea.
I won a copy of this book from Atria Books in an Instagram contest.