Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Train I Ride

Train I Ride
by Paul Mosier
Harper, 2017. Fiction. 181 p.
The story starts as Rydr boards a train that will carry her across the country to live with relations she has never met. At first Rydr sticks to herself, but eventually an empty stomach (she didn't have any money to buy food) and the long lonely miles compel her to interact with the other passengers and staff. As she does the reader comes to learn her back story and the unfortunate events that have lead to the journey. Soon friendships bloom and when the end of the trip arrives she feels like she has become a part of a loving family.

This is a different and refreshing approach to the "social issues" trope.  Rydr has a boat load (or should I say a train load) of issues, as do others on the train, but their forced physical proximity makes them come together and help each other cope.  Rydr is a quirky and likable character and her relationship with Dorothea the train attendant, Neal the concessions guy, and her fellow passengers are at the same time complex and satisfying. Give this to fans of Fish in a Tree or Raymie Nightingale.

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