The luxury, romance and mystery of the Orient Express – what better way can there be to travel to Venice? Veronica Henry’s latest novel, A Night on the Orient Express really captures the essence of this legendary train. She tells four different stories of individuals and families who all have their own reasons for travelling in style towards the romantic destination of Venice.
Imogen is heading to Venice to collect a painting for her grandmother but there is a surprise in store. Stephanie is travelling with her new partner, Simon and his teenage children. It’s their first trip as a family but it’s not exactly a smooth journey as she discovers how precarious the role of ‘stepmother ‘can be. Riley and Sylvie have been lovers for fifty years but is it finally the time to make their relationship legal. There are huge decisions for all of these characters to make and all of their stories are utterly absorbing. However it is Archie’s and Emmie’s journey that is the most poignant and their story that I found most compelling.
Recently, Archie’s best friend Jay died from cancer but before he did, he secretly entered Archie into a competition on the ‘Not on the Shelf’ website, in order to find his perfect date. True to his best friend’s memory, Archie takes his prize on the Orient Express where he meets Emmie who was unbeknowingly entered into the competition by her sister. Each has a great deal of emotional baggage but gradually, as they get to know each other there is a connection and they are heading towards one of the world’s most romantic cities.
Each story stands on its own but I’m glad that they were not written as four separate entities. I love the way that they interweave and the reader’s attention is forced to shift between them. All of the characters seem very real and I could not help but warm to all of them.
A Night on the Orient Express by Veronica Henry
Published by Orion, July 2013
With thanks to the publisher for sending a review copy.
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