I started reading – and really enjoying – Zoë Folbigg’s new book The Postcard, quickly realised it was a sequel and went out and downloaded her first book. I’m not quite sure how it managed to pass me by when it came out in 2017 as it is exactly the kind of fun romantic read that I enjoy as an alternative to the dastardly and dark thrillers that I frequently devour!
One morning Maya Flowers looks around her train carriage and notices a new man sitting near her. He is handsome and makes her heart pound. She desperately hopes that he is going to be a regular commuter. And thus “Train Man” is born. Maya spends weeks secretly watching him as he reads a series of dull books on the train and takes in every aspect of him. Soon everyone at work is bored with the tales of this elusive “Train Man” and Maya’s reluctance to talk to him as it would ruin her illusions.
Having spent many years on a commuter train myself, Folbigg’s observations of the fellow passengers, the superior and inferior train types, the “vomit comet” last train home and the general tedium of the regular journey all resonated with me. People are creatures of habit, typically getting on the same carriage and trying to sit in the same seats every day.
You do notice the other people around you and listen in on their phone calls and their conversations. My commute left me with some very good friends who would look out for each other and even organise Christmas dinners etc. I even taught one of the regular commuters how to Cross Stitch. She would sit and watch me stitch on the train and then with a little encouragement graduated to her own projects!
Eventually Maya plucks up the courage to pass him a note asking him out for a drink and there the tangled tale really begins. It is a bit of a Sliding Doors tale with their lives intersecting at various points without them realising and a series of misunderstandings that keep them apart.
It really is a sweet and uplifting tale. Maya is such a nice character that you just want to keep reading. And I do now have an insatiable craving for a nice macaron! At times it is laugh out loud funny when Maya is at work with her colleagues in an online fashion business but even this is not all sweetness and light.
I’m ready to start the sequel now… notes on The Postcard to follow soon.
At time of writing it is currently free to borrow on Amazon Prime Lending Library.
UK Publication Date: Nov 2 2017. 304 pages.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.