Stories that converge and cross like train lines

Trains-and-Lovers1Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith

I think everybody has met at least one person on a train and this is a story of four people who do just that; thrown together by chance and circumstance.

For myself I met Carole on a much-delayed cross-country train as we were both going home for the weekend (from different universities). We talked, made friends, swapped contact details and stayed in in contact. Every year we exchange Christmas cards and news; she has her life and I have mine. A story that uses this has its central conceit is not an original idea – one of my favourite films is Before Sunrise in which two characters doing just that – but it is a comforting one.

In this book you are presented with four very different versions of love in the four stories that Kay, Hugh, Andrew, and David tell each other. Or at least the versions of their “real” love stories that they choose to tell.