Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review: The Christmas Train


About the Book:
An estranged father and daughter meet for the first time at Christmas in this touching holiday story that will tug at your heart, from USA TODAY bestselling author Rexanne Becnel.

On the train to meet her father, young Anna Spano befriends Eva Stephens, an older woman who occasionally thinks she’s traveling to her home village in pre–World War II for the holidays. Recognizing Miss Eva’s disorientation as the same dementia her late grandmother experienced, Anna isn’t sure who is actually taking care of whom on the journey.

At the far end of the journey, Tom Thurston is anxious about what to expect when his daughter arrives. So he’s doubly shocked when a teary old woman embraces him, convinced that he is her long-lost brother.

At Anna’s insistence, he reluctantly agrees to bring the woman home with them and try to locate her family. And as Anna clings loyally to her new friend, and Tom struggles to be who Miss Eva needs him to be, both father and daughter begin to understand one another. And through Miss Eva, they learn the true meaning of family, and of love.

My Comments:
This is a Christmas novella.  That usually means a short but heartwarming book and The Christmas Train does not disappoint.  Anna's grandmother, with whom she has lived for years, just died.  Her mother doesn't want her and puts her on a train to meet the father she has never met, saying it is his turn to take care of her. The railroad won't let Anna travel without an adult, so her mother sits her next to a little old lady and tells Anna to tell the train people that they are together.  Anna listens to Ms. Eva tell her stories of WWII Europe and her life in the US thereafter.  When they finally arrive, Ms. Eva thinks Anna's father is her long-lost brother.

This is absolutely a happily ever after story in which way too many good things happen and in which there is a total lack of conflict.  I cried my eyes out near the end of the story and smiled at the ending so I guess Rexanne Becnel met her goal.  Grade:  B.

Thanks to the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  I was not obligated to provide any review, much less a positive one. 

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