Tara's Reviews > The London Train

The London Train by Tessa Hadley
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Jan 26, 12

Read from January 15 to 24, 2012

This book was generally absorbing and well written. The problem for me came with the joining of the two stories. Midway through the book the story switches from Paul, a confused middle aged writer with a pregnant daughter and marriage troubles, to Cora, a women he has had an affair with after they meet on the train. Cora has a similarly troubled marriage and is also at a point in her life where her purpose and direction are unclear. There are parallels in their lives that connect these two stories but for me, the abrupt shift in perspective and the hanging questions about Paul’s story kept nagging at me. For this reason, I think each story could be better standing apart as its own novella or novel (after more development) – with Cora’s probably the more finished and better done. Pushed together, they seem underdeveloped and connected only with the thread of a chance meeting and fleeting affair that doesn’t enrich the telling of these stories enough to make up for what is lost in the narrative flow and character and plot development.

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Reading Progress

01/18/2012 page 158

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