Book Review: The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay
veronica | When Simon & Schuster sent me a copy of The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay, I was delighted! Historical fiction set after WWII in Australia? Yes, please! And as I’ve never read anything by Ashley Hay before, I was naturally intrigued and jumped in right away.
Anikka is wife to Mac, a railwayman, who tragically loses his life on the job just after the war ends. Ironic that the men the tiny coastal town of Thirroul sent to the war came back and yet Mac, who stayed behind, dies suddenly and much by accident. Not knowing what to do now that she is without support or income, and having to raise her daughter on her own, Anikka takes the job at the Railway Institute’s library.
We’re introduced to Roy McKinnon, a poet who comes back damaged from the war and Frank Drapper, a doctor trying to come to terms with his failure and inability to help those wounded in the war. These three struggle to adapt to their new life, finding peace and happiness.
I will admit, The Railwayman’s Wife didn’t end up appealing to me like I’d hoped but it contained a beautiful message to those ready to accept it: celebrate love in whatever form it comes to you. Beginnings and endings are hard to distinguish but if you can open up to love someone and be loved in return then life reaches its own perfection.
april 5, 2016