Savour every second of this stunning novel, take your time, don't rush, don't miss a single solitary word. The setting, Thirroul in Australia at the end of the Second World War, is described with such heartrending and vibrant beauty, you can quite literally feel the caress of the breeze, the grit of the sand, the thunder of the train on the track. The main characters are all lost and in search of something just beyond reach or possibly comprehension, the compassion the author feels for them is quite evident. Yes, this is a book about loss and love, yet at it’s heart feels as though it’s a celebration of life, in all it’s vital wonderful glory. This is a book to fall in love with, once finished to read again or dip in to, so you can re-capture the essence of the beautiful lyrical verse. ~ Liz Robinson
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.
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
Deeply lyrical and beautifully written, Hay’s magical tale of three lost souls seeking a way to find new ways to live in the wake of tragedy is spellbinding fiction of the highest calibre. In Australia of 1948, the newly widowed Anikka Lachlan is cast adrift from the comfortable certainties of her old life after her husband’s sudden death, whilst poet Roy McKinnon – like his brasher friend Dr Frank Draper – is desperately seeking to find any meaning after years decimated by the vicissitudes of war. A reflective, melancholy book that offers a psychologically penetrating portrait of the legacy of a good marriage, it lingers long in the memory.
'In this poignant rumination on life, death, memory, dreaming and the anxious spaces in between, it's hard to find fault with a single one of Hay's words.' -- The Age
'Wishful, astringent and rewarding' -- Sydney Morning Herald
'Beautifully rendered and psychologically acute.' -- Weekend Australian
'[Hay's writing] recalls the sour-sweet best of Michael Ondaatje's fiction. Another author, Ford Madox Ford, began his The Good Soldier by claiming, This is the saddest story. It isn't. That title rightly belongs to The Railwayman's Wife.' -- The Australian
'Hay is a gifted and insightful writer; her prose is elegant and she has an eye for the telling detail. Most important, she understands people and the secret battles her characters face.' -- Adelaide Advertiser
'An elegiac tale of love, loss and letting go, The Railwayman's Wife shimmers with grace.' -- The Newtown Review of Books
'Her characters are illuminated by an incandescent intelligence and rare sensibility.' -- Australian Book Review
Publication date: 07/08/2014
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication date: 02/01/2014
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
|Publication date:||7th August 2014|
|Publisher:||Allen & Unwin|
|Genres:||Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Ashley Hay's first novel, The Body in the Clouds, was shortlisted for a number of prizes, including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the New South Wales and West Australian Premier's Awards. A former literary editor of The Bulletin, she contributes to a number of publications including Five Dials, The Monthly, Australian Geographic and The Australian.More About Ashley Hay