As I read most of Trains and Lovers (my second Random House read for June) on the subway, I could almost pretend that I was there with Kay, David, Hugh, and Andrew. Sitting across from them, listening intently to their stories of love and all of the different ways you can love someone. I even thought for a brief moment I saw a fleeting fishing boat outside the subway window — the boat that sparked the conversation between these unforgettable characters.
In Trains and Lovers, Alexander McCall Smith 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.
I read this novel in black and white. Each scene appeared in my mind as a photo, a blurred moment that was barely captured. The edges of my book faded away as I got caught up in the story and the words came to life. Trains and Lovers is the most charming book I’ve read in a while. I’ve never read Alexander McCall Smith before but I will definitely check out his previous work in hopes to find some more of his quick wit, his real-life honesty, and his way of words. I love how he describes the most basic human interactions, the way he depicts love, and the way he frames so many little truths about humanity. You can easily see a piece of yourself in each of these characters and find it exciting to learn a bit more about them.
This book has its own little rhythm to it, it’s slightly poetic. At some points you’ll feel the swaying of the train and hear the screeching of the breaks, and you’ll hope that this little story isn’t quite finished. You have so much more to learn about these people, about life! I underlined so many wonderful quotes in this sweet and profound novel.
Each of us has his or her reasons, for making this journey, for being as we are, for continuing with the lives we lead; ordinary lives, of course, but touched here and there with moments of understanding and insight, and sheer marvel.” (Page 239)
This novel will fill you with many moments of understanding and insight. It will remind you of what a wonderfully amazing stupid thing love is. It will remind you that we all go through the same things, we do stupid things for love, and we all feel love in the same way — that’s what makes it so great. We’re all idiots. We’re all suckers for love.
We live and breathe love. Loving someone ‘is the good thing we do in our lives’.
Trains and Lovers comes out today – get on board!