As we celebrate the holiday season, I have been reading festive novels to get myself into the Christmas spirit. Today, i have finished The Christmas Train filled with intrigue, romance and a dramatic avalanche during the days leading up to Christmas. David Baldacci, a lawyer by training, generally writes thrillers and has been a prolific author since his mother encouraged him to write stories by giving him a notebook.
The Christmas Train was published in 2003 and tells the account of a reporter travelling across America to meet a girlfriend in LA. He had been banned from flying domestically after an unfortunate incident during a security check and decided to follow his late father’s wishes that he write a story about a cross-country journey on the rails.
As he travelled, he met a very interesting cast of characters including an eccentric woman, a retired priest, a film producer, a couple eloping to be married on the train and coincidentally the love of his life that had never been forgotten. The motley mix of travellers break bread, carol and learn about each other as they eat and sleep in tight places. They stick together and care for each when the weather causes a catastrophe on the tracks.
In the end, these characters embody the Christmas spirit and know what is important as they spend a couple of days trapped together. They realize that there is something special about traveling together on the train.
This is a light, quick read full of holiday spirit. It that helps the reader get into a festive mood and think about the importance of family and kindness towards others.