TUESDAY SPARKS: “THE LONDON TRAIN”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s release is a book I discovered recently:  The London Train, by Tessa Hadley.

 

 

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Intro:  By the time Paul got to the Home, the undertakers had already removed his mother’s body.  He protested at this, it seemed done in indecent haste.  He had set out as soon as they telephoned him; surely they could have waited the three or four hours it had taken him to get there (the traffic had been heavy on the M5).  Mrs. Phipps, the owner of the Home, guided him into her office, where whatever scene he might make wouldn’t upset the other residents.  She was petite, vivacious, brown-skinned, with traces of a South African accent; he didn’t dislike her, he thought she ran the Home to a good standard of care, his mother had seemed to resign herself gratefully to her efficiency and brisk baby-talk.  Even at this moment, however, there was no sign that the taut, bright mask of Mrs. Phipps’s good humour, respectfully muted in the circumstances, ever gave way to any impulse of authentic feeling.

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Teaser:  It occurred to him that he could go anywhere, right now.  There were all those thousands sitting in his account, enough to buy himself a ticket; and his passport was—he checked—still in the back pocket of these trousers  (p. 112).

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Synopsis:  Two lives, stretched between two cities, converge in a chance meeting with immediate and far-reaching consequences in this compelling, sophisticated tale from acclaimed New Yorker writer Tessa Hadley, author of Accidents in the Home and The Master Bedroom. As father struggles to reestablish a relationship with his estranged daughter in London, surrendering himself to an underground life of illegal squats and counterculture friendships, a wife decides she must flee her suffocating marriage to return to Wales, where in Cardiff she may rediscover the passions that once fueled her life. Embracing change and facing loss, in a story evocative of Alice Munro’s Runaway and Julia Glass’ I See You Everywhere, Hadley’s powerful characters illuminate the furthest reaches of love, hope, and determination.

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What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?  Does the blurb make you want to keep reading?

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