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The Train to Estelline (Lucinda Richards Trilogy #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  185 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Together for the first time as a classic Texas trilogy:

The Train to Estelline

A Place Called Sweet Shrub

Dance a Little Longer

The Lucinda “Lucy” Richards trilogy, spanning the years from 1911 to the 1930s, has everything good books should have: a variety of landscapes, characters of all ages and social classes, an overall tenderness that never lapses into sentimentality, and
Paperback, 209 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by University of North Texas Press (first published 1987)
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Jan 12, 2016 Elaine rated it really liked it
I read this book long ago and think of it every year as I drive through Estelline on my way to Colorado. The book is written as letters and diary entries, which I love. The format works really well. It's a fun, light read. It's not quite as "gentle" as I usually prefer my books, but compared to most books these days, it would be rated G.
Sep 16, 2015 Bria rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
The Train to Estelline is a historical fiction piece set in West Texas in the early 1900s from the point of view of a young woman setting out on her first adult adventures. Within the first few pages I had decided I didn't like this book: the main character was already gushing that she had just (today) met the man she was destined to marry and the writing style-- jumping between letters and diary entries (all of which were short in length and description)-- was too much for me. I felt like I was ...more
Jul 03, 2014 Sharon rated it liked it
I suppose this book could also have been called "Lucy's world" it really is about how Lucy sees the world she inhabited and how she deals with the way she thinks things should be and then how they are.

I Love the name Lucy, we had a pooch for 18 years called Lucy and I must have said the the name thousand's, of times and never got sick of saying it.

It was a charming story set in the early twentieth century, I loved the character Lucy for her spunk and intelligence. You could really see how seven
Feb 22, 2009 Claudia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction
Recommended to Claudia by: Caroline! And her mom!
Lucy goes on a great adventure on the train to the ripe age of 17, she becomes a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. She has to contend with critters in her school, parents who don't appreciate education, students who must babysit younger siblings...and she finds her calling.

Told through letters and diary entries, this book forces us as readers to fill in the blanks, and see beyond Lucy's words to the heart of the story. Lucy loves Bob, but his mother, the rancher's wife, wants mo
Sep 12, 2015 Tevilla rated it really liked it
This is a texas story told through letters of a school teacher to her mother and others. It takes place in the early 1900's. I didn't expect to like it this much--I found it charming and engaging. It is the first in a trilogy and inwillmread the next one to see if it holds true.
Apr 02, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in first person through letters and diary entries, Lucy Richards takes us on an adventure as she begins her first year teaching in a prairie school. I loved the characters in the story and sometimes it reminded me of the TV show When Calls The Heart.
Ann Holland
Jun 28, 2015 Ann Holland rated it liked it
Entrancing story of the indomitable Lucy who, at 17, leaves home for her first teaching job and the adventures that follow. Easy-to-read young adult novel that gives a good picture of life in rural Texas in the early 1900s. First in a trilogy.
Jun 01, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it
The story of a young woman leaving home in 1911 to teach in Bonham. Written as a letter between the main characters and others. Once you get used to this style its original and insightful as to life in Texas in 1911.
Sep 20, 2012 Esther rated it liked it
Recommended to Esther by: Sonya
I'm not sure the diary/letter format works as well as a straight narrative, in either first or third person, would. But overall, nice coming of age story in early 20th century West Texas. One thing I liked very much was the way the narrator is really in her world: whenever explanations are given for differences, the differences are between what she is accustomed to and what she finds. So often works of historical fiction slip in elaborate descriptions of what would have been entirely ordinary it ...more
This is the second book I've read which takes place in letters (the first being Clara Callan by Richard Wright). Unlike that book though, this book is entirely told through letters Lucy writes to various people, and in that sense I felt some of the story is inferred. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but did somewhat affect the plot.

With that being said, Lucy is still a fast, enjoyable read about a young woman who takes on a school in Texas in the early 1900's.
Oct 09, 2013 Mickeyfogs rated it really liked it
What a great read! Read this trilogy almost 20 years ago. Remember staying up all night reading after hubby and babies were asleep. The main character Lucy, was such a spitfire. Throughout the trilogy, she goes thru a number of trials which strengthens and shapes her demeanor. The book is narrated in diary form.
Jan 25, 2009 Claudia rated it it was ok
I read this book just after reading The Lemon Jelly Cake and this one suffered from the comparison. The time period was the same, but this one wasn't as compelling. I had planned to ready the two sequels; I'm glad I didn't buy all three at once because I'm not interested enough to read more.
Aug 13, 2007 Karetchko added it
Recommends it for: new teachers
I read this during my first year as a teacher and related to so much of it. There are two follow-up books, and both are good as women's literature, but the main character isn't teaching anymore so I didn't like them as much.
Jan 28, 2011 Tami rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Fun, quick read about a young schoolteacher in West Texas during the early 1900's. The story is told through her letters home to family and friends.
It's a good book to pick up for a light, enjoyable read.
Sandra Greenman
Nov 19, 2011 Sandra Greenman rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite trilogies. Teachers might especially appreciate this story. It is a warm and inviting step into the days of Texas past. I am a fan of Jane R. Wood's writing style.
Dec 20, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
I would happily give this the Goodreads 3.74, but alas I am unable. It was a fun read that takes place in an unfamiliar part of the country.
Maggie Rutledge
Dec 12, 2010 Maggie Rutledge rated it really liked it
I really liked this book because it reminded me of my grandmother. The descriptions were amazing. I also enjoyed how it is written in letter form.
Aug 03, 2009 Lyn rated it it was amazing
If you love Texas and teaching you will love this trilogy of books. I savored each one and enjoyed the 1800 historical time period they are set.
Jun 13, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing
Loved this book...lots of humor, pathos and surprises. I can't wait to read the other two in the trilogy.
Kitty Tomlinson
17 year old Lucy Richards takes a job teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in West Texas. Enjoyable.
Dec 12, 2012 Christina rated it liked it
In August of 1911, 17 year old Lucy Richards takes a teaching position in Texas.

Jul 01, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book and story line. I found myself routing for Lucy! Worth reading.
Jan 28, 2010 CLM marked it as to-read
A Texas classic about a 17 year old in charge of a one room schoolhouse
May 27, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. An easy quick read with depth and wholesome too!
Oct 20, 2008 Kathi rated it it was amazing
A sweet West Texas story....a classic in Texas literature!
Jan 06, 2008 Elissa rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book but it was mostly forgettable.
Sue marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2016
Tracy Pirzkal
Tracy Pirzkal rated it did not like it
Jul 20, 2016
Shelly marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2016
Gwen marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2016
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Other Books in the Series

Lucinda Richards Trilogy (3 books)
  • A Place Called Sweet Shrub
  • Dance a Little Longer

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