A Transcontinental Affair
A sweeping tale of adventure and danger, innovation and corruption, and two women whose lives intertwine in unexpected ways on America’s first transcontinental train trip.May 1870. Crowds throng the Boston station, mesmerized by the mechanical wonder huffing on the rails: the Pullman Hotel Express, the first train to travel from coast to coast. Boarding the train are congressmen, railroad presidents, and even George Pullman himself. For two young women, strangers until this fateful day, it’s the beginning of a journey that will change their lives.Sensitive Louisa dreads the trip, but with limited prospects, she’s reluctantly joined the excursion as a governess to a wealthy family. Hattie is traveling to San Francisco to meet her fiancé, yet she’s far more interested in the workings of the locomotive than she is in the man awaiting her arrival. As the celebrated train moves westward, the women move toward one another, pulled by an unexpected attraction.But there is danger in this closeness, just as there is in the wilds of the frontier and in the lengths the railroad men will go to protect their investments. Before their journey is over, Louisa and Hattie will find themselves very far from where they intended to go.

A Transcontinental Affair Details

TitleA Transcontinental Affair
Author
ReleaseNov 1st, 2019
PublisherLake Union Publishing
ISBN-139781542004091
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

A Transcontinental Affair Review

  • Breanne Tuttle
    January 1, 1970
    I got this book as a kindle first reads and read the vast majority of it on an airplane. It was solidly meh. The description makes it sound way more exciting than it was. The story didn’t pick up until way past the halfway point. I thought it sounded promising, but ended up being more of a bore.
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  • Ann Creel
    January 1, 1970
    This lovely novel takes readers on a journey that features the most advanced train travel of the day, and also on an exploration of the human spirit, courage, and heart. Daynard not only creates great characters, she paints them with vivid colors and light. Each one is unique and fully developed, and you will yearn to know the outcomes all along the way. Daynard has done impeccable research, and I felt I was taking the journey along with the characters. The love story in this novel surprised me This lovely novel takes readers on a journey that features the most advanced train travel of the day, and also on an exploration of the human spirit, courage, and heart. Daynard not only creates great characters, she paints them with vivid colors and light. Each one is unique and fully developed, and you will yearn to know the outcomes all along the way. Daynard has done impeccable research, and I felt I was taking the journey along with the characters. The love story in this novel surprised me and yet unrolled naturally and believably. I found it quite moving. I also didn't see many of the plot twists coming. I highly recommend this unique work of historical fiction. Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • ABookwormWithWine
    January 1, 1970
    / 5A Transcontinental Affair is my first time reading a novel by Jodi Daynard but it definitely won't be my last. This was such a great historical fiction novel, and one that I will remember for a long time to come. A Transcontinental Affair focuses on the Pullman Hotel Express, which is the first train to travel cross-country from Massachusetts to California. Before reading this book I knew absolutely nothing about this train or even when the first train traveled from coast to coast (1870). ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5A Transcontinental Affair is my first time reading a novel by Jodi Daynard but it definitely won't be my last. This was such a great historical fiction novel, and one that I will remember for a long time to come. A Transcontinental Affair focuses on the Pullman Hotel Express, which is the first train to travel cross-country from Massachusetts to California. Before reading this book I knew absolutely nothing about this train or even when the first train traveled from coast to coast (1870). There was such a plethora of information in this book and I really enjoyed learning about this piece of our history that I knew nothing about. I really loved the main three young women that the book mostly focuses on which are Hattie, Louisa, and Julia. Hattie is traveling to San Francisco to marry a fiancé she has never met, Louisa is the daughter of a Reverend sent aboard to work for a wealthy family as a governess, and Julia is on board with her father who also ends up being Hattie's chaperone so to speak. Hattie was such a strong character and she was so knowledgeable and inquisitive about so many things that I loved reading from her viewpoint. It took me longer to warm up to Louisa, but in the end she was completely endearing. A Transcontinental Affair is only the second book I have read with a LGBT theme, and it definitely wasn't too strong in this novel which might be why I didn't even know it was there until I read it. There is also some violence towards both animals and people which could end up being a trigger warning for some. This book is set in the days when Native Americans were still called 'Injuns' if that tells you anything. Even though there was violence, there were also so many things that made me laugh and usually it was because of Hattie. Basically the only reason that I didn't give this book a 5 is because it tended to get a little confusing, especially when there were a lot of things going on. Other than that I absolutely loved the gem that is A Transcontinental Affair. Final Thought: I think most historical fictions lovers will be a fan of this book, and if you love setting details you will definitely find them in A Transcontinental Affair. I actually felt like I was on the train while reading which was something I personally really enjoyed. I also really loved the ending and was so satisfied with what happened. I can't wait to read more books by Daynard! Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    Where's the disclaimer on this story. I would like to be told in advance the story is about a gay romance. I wouldn't have wasted my First Read opportunity on this book. Everybody skirts around the elephant in the room (book), but nobody has the nerve to call it like it is. I am not a homophobe. I'm just tired of having the whole gay agenda shoved down my throat or in this case snuck into my bedtime reading.
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  • Julie Bozza
    January 1, 1970
    I was so happy to see an LGBTQ title among my Kindle First Read offers this month - a free ebook for Amazon Prime members. I promptly snagged it, and I wanted so much to love it. I want to encourage Amazon to offer this sort of title just as often as possible! Alas, I wasn't madly impressed with the book itself, though. It started slowly, with far too much historical scene-setting detail layered in. There was head-hopping to the point of dizziness, especially in those first chapters. Along the I was so happy to see an LGBTQ title among my Kindle First Read offers this month - a free ebook for Amazon Prime members. I promptly snagged it, and I wanted so much to love it. I want to encourage Amazon to offer this sort of title just as often as possible! Alas, I wasn't madly impressed with the book itself, though. It started slowly, with far too much historical scene-setting detail layered in. There was head-hopping to the point of dizziness, especially in those first chapters. Along the way, I started to get more involved. Possibly, as with the travellers on this train, the author's focus narrowed usefully once their homes and extra characters had been left behind. I did become very engaged with the two main characters, and with another young woman character, and I wanted them all to find their happy endings by the end of the book. However, once we belatedly get into the action-adventure plot towards the end of the book, the focus is lost again. And I was left rather unsatisfied and unconvinced by several elements of the plot which didn't seem properly developed. I don't mean it felt messy in a "real life" way, which I like, but it was messy in a "needs another serious editing pass" way. I may be being too churlish and expecting too much. I don't enjoy reading with my editing hat on, but sometimes it's inevitable. The thing is that if Amazon are doing the right thing in pushing distribution of LGBTQ titles to their Kindle audience, then it had better be titles that are good enough to capture the interest of a wide range of readers. And this wasn't, unfortunately, as good as it might have been. Damn. And sorry. But please keep writing / reading / editing / distributing / trying!
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  • Jool
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this historical fiction. Another great work by author Jodi Daynard. She combines the history of the Pullman Express Hotel, the first train to go coast to coast across the U.S. This was in 1865 and was greatly descriptive of the luxurious train, the beauty of the untamed United States and the frontier towns and cities of the time.Most interesting is the same sex love interest of two of the female passengers. You'll be turning pages to discover how this turns out; each of them have I enjoyed this historical fiction. Another great work by author Jodi Daynard. She combines the history of the Pullman Express Hotel, the first train to go coast to coast across the U.S. This was in 1865 and was greatly descriptive of the luxurious train, the beauty of the untamed United States and the frontier towns and cities of the time.Most interesting is the same sex love interest of two of the female passengers. You'll be turning pages to discover how this turns out; each of them have different plans for when they arrive at their respective destinations.
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  • Peter Hogan
    January 1, 1970
    To my mind, much of historical fiction, in literature and TV, is merely contemporary drama in costume. That is because a realistic representation of a time gone past takes extensive research: it's hard work. One thing I love about Jodi Daynard's novels is that you can be sure she has done her homework and that even very minor details can be trusted as truthful. Add to that strong and well-rounded characters and a plot full of surprises, and you have a compelling read. Maybe if your taste runs to To my mind, much of historical fiction, in literature and TV, is merely contemporary drama in costume. That is because a realistic representation of a time gone past takes extensive research: it's hard work. One thing I love about Jodi Daynard's novels is that you can be sure she has done her homework and that even very minor details can be trusted as truthful. Add to that strong and well-rounded characters and a plot full of surprises, and you have a compelling read. Maybe if your taste runs to genre formulas where you pretty much know what is going to happen, (and there's nothing wrong with that) then this book might not be for you. If you are up for a challenge then I am confident that you will not have read anything quite like this book. By the way, I know that Lake Union markets primarily to women, and that is all well and good, but this is a book that would appeal to anyone who appreciates strong writing and great storytelling. This book is not publicly available yet and my copy came directly from the author. I am related to the author and surely biased. Nevertheless, this review represents my honest opinion.
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  • Trinity
    January 1, 1970
    As I read through the reviews of this book I was surprised and disappointed by the negative response simply because it is a romance between two women. The romance is clearly stated in the description of the book, there is no secret agenda, just unobservant readers.When I saw a book in the Kindle First Reads about a romance between two women, I was pleasantly surprised. This is a genre that is underrepresented in the mainstream so it was refreshing to see it offered by Amazon. My disappointment As I read through the reviews of this book I was surprised and disappointed by the negative response simply because it is a romance between two women. The romance is clearly stated in the description of the book, there is no secret agenda, just unobservant readers.When I saw a book in the Kindle First Reads about a romance between two women, I was pleasantly surprised. This is a genre that is underrepresented in the mainstream so it was refreshing to see it offered by Amazon. My disappointment came in trying to read the book, I could not get through it. I wanted to, I gave it four tries, but I just could not get into it. The only reason I gave this book three stars was because of the characters. Hattie was a woman ahead of her time but not in a cookie cutter way. Yes she eschewed typical women's clothing of the time and smoked and drank which are all typical ways of creating a rebellious female character, but she was also interested in mechanics, engineering, and science. She was highly intelligent and self educated in the subjects that interested her. Louisa is a good fit for Hattie. Although not as spirited and more traditional she has an inner strength and is a survivor dealing with PTSD from the war. She provides a more traditional balance to Hattie's revolutionary personality.The issue that I had with this book is the way that it was written. The plot is all over the place, or perhaps there are just too many plots. The book was also written in a choppy fashion, skipping around from one perspective to another and random event to random event. It almost felt more like a list than a story. Because of this I was only able to make it about a third of the way into the book before finally giving up. Although I am still debating on if I want to give it another try simply to see what becomes of the characters. Overall my dislike of this book comes down to style so it is a personal preference but I would recommend it for the characters.
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  • Ana Popielnicki
    January 1, 1970
    FascinatingIn a departure from the times of her previous novels (roughly a hundred years!), in this one we still get Jodi's signature historical accuracy and vivid narrative, which pull the reader into the story in such a way one practically experiences it as real. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the extraordinary heroines, though I confess I didn't particularly like either of the two main characters. This, however, did not impact my enjoyment of the story, which is an indication of the author's FascinatingIn a departure from the times of her previous novels (roughly a hundred years!), in this one we still get Jodi's signature historical accuracy and vivid narrative, which pull the reader into the story in such a way one practically experiences it as real. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the extraordinary heroines, though I confess I didn't particularly like either of the two main characters. This, however, did not impact my enjoyment of the story, which is an indication of the author's amazing skill in engaging her readers.If you have not discovered Jodi Daynard yet, hurry up!
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  • Tonya
    January 1, 1970
    This book started out really good and I learned a lot about traveling by train in the 1800s, but then the entire story went off the rails. I quit reading it and removed it from my device immediately. Doesn’t anyone write good clean stories anymore?
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  • Ann Creel
    January 1, 1970
    This lovely novel takes readers on a journey that features the most advanced train travel of the day, but also on an exploration of the human spirit, courage, and heart. Daynard not only creates great characters, she paints them with vivid colors and light. Each one is unique and fully developed, and you will yearn to know the outcomes all along the way. Daynard also shows evidence of impeccable research, and I felt I was taking the journey along with the characters. The love story in this novel This lovely novel takes readers on a journey that features the most advanced train travel of the day, but also on an exploration of the human spirit, courage, and heart. Daynard not only creates great characters, she paints them with vivid colors and light. Each one is unique and fully developed, and you will yearn to know the outcomes all along the way. Daynard also shows evidence of impeccable research, and I felt I was taking the journey along with the characters. The love story in this novel surprised me and yet unrolled naturally and believably. I also didn't see many of the plot twists coming. I highly recommend this unique work of historical fiction. Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced reader's copy.
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  • Mystica
    January 1, 1970
    May 1870 and this is history in the making. The first train to travel coast to coast is about to begin its journey and on board are myriad characters all going to San Francisco.Two women Louisa and Hattie are also on the train. Louisa as a governess to two children along with their strange parents, and Hattie on a mission to marriage where Leland is waiting for her at the other end. Hattie is different for her times - bold, brash, innovative and clever. Louisa is sensitive, reserved and with a May 1870 and this is history in the making. The first train to travel coast to coast is about to begin its journey and on board are myriad characters all going to San Francisco.Two women Louisa and Hattie are also on the train. Louisa as a governess to two children along with their strange parents, and Hattie on a mission to marriage where Leland is waiting for her at the other end. Hattie is different for her times - bold, brash, innovative and clever. Louisa is sensitive, reserved and with a club foot with a marked limp she is very conscious of tends to keep to the background. How these two women forge a bond of friendship and love amidst the travails of travelling and the excitement of this journey is the story.Add to this accidents on the way, encounters with Indians, deaths, and a massive cover up by the train authorities themselves add to the story. The book though very factual was a bit of a slow read and you had to pursue it to the end to understand the nuances of the LGBTQ connections in this story.Being a history buff, this part of the story interested me more.
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  • Thelma Adams
    January 1, 1970
    Book an amazing trip back in time with A Transcontinental Affair. With complex heroines, impeccable prose, high drama and a view of the West as it was being won, this historical romance set on America's first transcontinental train trip in 1870 offers the perfect must-read novel for a long, leisurely rail journey -- or a commuter binge. Passionate, insightful, empathetic and unforgettable.
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  • Laura Tharrett Cunningham
    January 1, 1970
    I love this!!This was my first historical fiction that I really enjoyed. The book follows the journey of two women from different walks of life who actually form a strong bond after a week on a Transcontinental railroad trip.
  • nancy daynard
    January 1, 1970
    Jodi Daynard does it again! She's woven another impeccable story of history with all the right elements to keep you enthralled, with twists, turns, and all the beauty this land has to offer to the very end.If your looking for a slice of history told with whit, warmth and truth, you've found your next not be missed tale, you've come to the right place!
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  • Jeff
    January 1, 1970
    One of the More Intriguing Historical Fiction Novels I've Ever Read. The title says it all. In this story of a legendary train ride from coast to coast - just a year after doing so was even possible - Daynard manages to put some aspects into this tale that were very much unexpected, but does so in a way that is at least possible. Indeed, for much of the back half of the book the reader constantly expects something to happen - whether or not it does is up to you to read and find out. ;) Very much One of the More Intriguing Historical Fiction Novels I've Ever Read. The title says it all. In this story of a legendary train ride from coast to coast - just a year after doing so was even possible - Daynard manages to put some aspects into this tale that were very much unexpected, but does so in a way that is at least possible. Indeed, for much of the back half of the book the reader constantly expects something to happen - whether or not it does is up to you to read and find out. ;) Very much recommended.
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  • OraLee Kirkham
    January 1, 1970
    Should have read the reviewsI got this first reads book at the very last minute, and because I like historical fiction thought this might be interesting. Little did I know I was getting into lesbian fiction. I wish Amazon would give some upfront ratings regarding language and sexual content because there are still many of us out here who like good clean fiction.
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  • Horsesheet
    January 1, 1970
    A journey of the heart takes us cross-country and ends up nowhere I thought it would end. At first I thought, Okay there are some interesting female characters. But it becomes much more than what you expect. You literally don't know what's going to happen until the very end. I'm not normally a fan of this genre, but this was an exceptional read. Men as well as women are going to love it.Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lynnae Inama
    January 1, 1970
    An Enjoyable ReadThe story is both an entertaining and enjoyable read. I actually found the lesbian romance was not off putting as some other reviewers suggest. The characters are a likeable bunch. To the point you hope for the best. So, if you are open minded and willing to expand your horizon I suggest you read this story.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    I liked the idea of this more than the actual book. It has a fairly slow start, and I didn't find the plot or the romance particularly engaging. Also, some of the characters came across to me as stereotypes and/or somewhat flat.
  • Abbie
    January 1, 1970
    A must readSweeping landscapes, historical accuracy and a sweet love story all set upon the same train ride. The fiction is seamlessly woven into the history of this historic transcontinental trip by rail. I was thoroughly entertained and educated. One of my top five books of the year.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    (I appreciate when a book reminds me in the title if it's fiction or non-.) I chose this based on the outraged reviews by some narrow-minded folks on Amazon; generally if it upsets bigots, it's a book for me, and that was indeed true in this case. I'm not sure how realistic the ending was but it gave me happy thoughts and I need those so I'm good with it.Rating 5 stars to offset one of the uncalled for 1 stars.
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  • Jane Whitaker
    January 1, 1970
    Well, an odd story for sure. I found 'the main event' kinda came out of nowhere and wasn’t really believable. However the descriptions of pioneering travel across America by train was pretty good.
  • Lavolily
    January 1, 1970
    I love trains, I love adventure, I love to read about smart, unconventional people. This adventure of 3 women during an era, a space in time where women are just starting to awaken as independant individuals kept me turning the pages! I thoroughly enjoyed the unexpected plot which had a wonderful ending. All's well that ends well!
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  • Nancy Beckhorn
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVED this book! It was a fascinating, gut-wrenching, amazing story covering 9 days on a train. Very powerful truths and lessons that still resonate in today's times.
  • Leanna Mattea
    January 1, 1970
    If you love historical fiction, this is the perfect choice. I knew little about the history of the transcontinental railway, and this novel was worth a semester history class. The story is based on the first transcontinental trip from Boston to San Francisco on the Pullman Hotel, an elegantly outfitted train, filled with the elite of the Times. The research to bring this journey to life, was very impressive. I felt that I was on this rail adventure as well. The descriptions of the landscape and If you love historical fiction, this is the perfect choice. I knew little about the history of the transcontinental railway, and this novel was worth a semester history class. The story is based on the first transcontinental trip from Boston to San Francisco on the Pullman Hotel, an elegantly outfitted train, filled with the elite of the Times. The research to bring this journey to life, was very impressive. I felt that I was on this rail adventure as well. The descriptions of the landscape and terrain were so vivid and clear to the reader, and the experiences of the journey so realistic. The accompanying story of Hattie and Louisa and those they encountered along the way was a bonus. Wonderful, interesting characters, that made the journey even more adventurous. The friendships that developed on this trip were described beautifully. The corruption and shady dealings of the investors and supporters of the railroad, was familiar by today’s standards as well. This is a story of the spirit of adventure and the awakening of a new experiences in pioneering country. It was the coming of age of women’s desire for independence and importance and the contributions they could make, if given the advantage.My thanks to #LakeUnionPublishers #NetGalley for the ARC. The thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • O Prism
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve enjoyed all of Jodi Daynard’s previous books about strong, brave and enlightened women, and enjoyed this one as well. At times, it seemed to drag on a bit. Good plot, well-developed characters, a fascinating train ride, scenery, adventure (some on the disturbing side) and the disparity of those who have much vs. those who have little to nothing. There was a lot going on in this story. I see the mixed reviews, but I didn’t have mixed feeling about it. The women’s deep bond and abiding love I’ve enjoyed all of Jodi Daynard’s previous books about strong, brave and enlightened women, and enjoyed this one as well. At times, it seemed to drag on a bit. Good plot, well-developed characters, a fascinating train ride, scenery, adventure (some on the disturbing side) and the disparity of those who have much vs. those who have little to nothing. There was a lot going on in this story. I see the mixed reviews, but I didn’t have mixed feeling about it. The women’s deep bond and abiding love was sensitively portrayed, and the dip into their blossoming relationship, to me, was just that - a dip. It was written so succinctly and delicately, that it was like a very light brush of paint, barely there, but the color making an impact nonetheless. I have experienced deep love with many female friends, yet didn’t and don’t find it peculiar or abnormal. Lesbianism was barely hinted at. I think some took offense it was included at all, and others took offense there wasn’t more of it included. The ending had a couple of mild surprises, good ones. I don’t see this as necessarily feminist writing, more of a celebration of women willing to take a stand and step outside of the box of societal norms. This is a little different from Jodi’s other books, and a good read.
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  • Kenneth J. Olsen
    January 1, 1970
    DisappointingI'm a railroad nut, have read several books on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad and felt it necessary to read this one. Even though the characters and plot would be fictitious, had to find out if it had some new insights on the post construction of the Transcontinental. It did and it didn't. Since the Pullman Palace Train was real, everything about the route it travelled should have been accurate. When the train pulled into Northwestern Station (Chicago), continued DisappointingI'm a railroad nut, have read several books on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad and felt it necessary to read this one. Even though the characters and plot would be fictitious, had to find out if it had some new insights on the post construction of the Transcontinental. It did and it didn't. Since the Pullman Palace Train was real, everything about the route it travelled should have been accurate. When the train pulled into Northwestern Station (Chicago), continued on to Sterling, IL, it should have crosses the Mississippi at Clinton, Iowa, not Burlington. In fact, a RR bridge at Burlington did not exist until 1887 when the Santa Fe expanded into Chicago. Later, the train goes through Julesburg, Nebraska. Julesburg is in Colorado! Later it goes through Palisade, west of Wyoming. Palisade is in Nevada, west of Utah. Past the geography errors, the story line is convoluted. Instead of a plot, this writing has several going off in different directions. It was like a box of odds and ends tossed onto a table. The affair? Maybe it should have been the train ride!
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  • Vane Wayne
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book more than what I expected. This is the first book I read by Jodi Daynard and I am in love. I love the setting of the book which takes place in a high class train. The characters especially the women in the book are amazing characters. I really like how the characters come to life. While reading I could really see myself inside the story. The story is so vivid and there is just so much life inside the story! Hattie is engaged and will be traveling on the train to go meet her I enjoyed this book more than what I expected. This is the first book I read by Jodi Daynard and I am in love. I love the setting of the book which takes place in a high class train. The characters especially the women in the book are amazing characters. I really like how the characters come to life. While reading I could really see myself inside the story. The story is so vivid and there is just so much life inside the story! Hattie is engaged and will be traveling on the train to go meet her fiancé. In the train she meets some incredible women. She builds a friendship with the women in the train. Hattie has been around men most of her life, even though she does have a mother she is always sick and therefore don’t have a strong relationship. Well written and fast and easy page turner! Highly recommend I was able to read it soon because I got it from amazon first reads and I am glad I picked this book because now I have a copy on my kindle and can re read this anytime. I will definitely be reading more books by her because I love her writing style.
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  • Kerry Croucier
    January 1, 1970
    This is a novel had interesting characters, highly descriptive settings, and focused on an interesting part of history that I am only vaguely familiar with. I enjoyed the characters, their interactions, and how the relationships developed. The relationship between Hattie and Louisa was handled with finesse and, I feel, was not remotely offensive.That said, I am a little unsure about the author’s writing style. At times it was a little too verbose for me, reminding me of a novel that was written This is a novel had interesting characters, highly descriptive settings, and focused on an interesting part of history that I am only vaguely familiar with. I enjoyed the characters, their interactions, and how the relationships developed. The relationship between Hattie and Louisa was handled with finesse and, I feel, was not remotely offensive.That said, I am a little unsure about the author’s writing style. At times it was a little too verbose for me, reminding me of a novel that was written in the past, possibly about the same era as this novel took place. For me, it did detract a bit from my enjoyment, and I felt some of the events were either rushed or dragged out a little too long.Overall, this was a solid read. Lovers of historical fiction will enjoy it.Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.#ATranscontinentalAffair #JodiDaynard #LakeUnionPublishing
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