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The London Train

by Tessa Hadley

This book is two short novels linked by the appearance of one character in both parts and the London train. The plot of the first novel centres on the disappearance of a grown up daughter. The second deals with an extra marital affair with shades of 'Brief Encounter'. Strong on the intertwining relationships of family, friends and neighbours and good atmospheric descriptions of rural Wales and disreputable districts of London. Good family drama.

Extract

In her absence, he felt he hardly knew Pia, although those hours they spent together in her childhood, when he had looked after her at weekends, had sometimes seemed to stretch out to a punitive length, so that he longed to get back to his work, his books. He would surely have stirred - even in those days, as a reluctant father, much too young - in response to a child who was spirited, suggestible, haunted: he had looked to see if any of this was in Pia, but he had not found it, or she had resisted his finding it.

Parallels

Any novel by Joanna Trollope
Any novel by Anne Tyler
Brief Encounter - the film
 

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