Skip to main content

Book Review: The Christmas Train by David Baldacci

The Christmas Train

Tom Langdon has plans to spend Christmas in Lake Tahoe with his girlfriend, but first he has to get from Washington, DC to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the reporter has been banned from flying after an air rage incident, so he decides to take a train from coast to coast and write about holiday rail travel. During his ride, he encounters all sorts of interesting characters from a bartender who looks like Elvis to a retired priest to a young couple about to wed aboard the train. He also runs into his former girlfriend, Eleanor, who he hasn't seen since she walked out on him many years ago.

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci is written in two sections: Tom has to take two trains to get to LA, so each section of the book covers a different train ride. Many of the characters continue on the trip from one train to the next with Tom, so their stories continue as well. I have to say I liked the second half of the book much better than the first. The first half seemed to be devoted to introducing all the different characters and talking about rail travel. It was very slow and not very exciting at all. Perhaps someone who has a strong interest in trains would find this section more interesting than I did.

The second half of the book was more appealing to me, with a lot more action. But overall, the book wasn't one of my favorites. It also wasn't much of a Christmas story. It did take place around Christmas, but the focus of the book was on the love story. And it wasn't a love story that gripped me or made me feel strongly about Tom, Eleanor or any of the others involved.

My Rating: 3/5

This review was written based on a copy of The Christmas Train that I borrowed from the library.

Comments

  1. I read this several years ago and had the same reaction. However, the characters are fairly memorable.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Claudia

    http://lioneltrains.info

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …

Book Review: The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett

Peter Byerly is distraught over the loss of his wife nine months ago. He has retreated to their cottage in the English countryside, hoping to return to his love of collecting and restoring rare books. But when he opens a book about Shakespeare forgeries and finds a Victorian watercolor of a woman who looks just like his wife, Peter is soon on a search for the origin of the painting and the truth about Shakespeare's real identity.

The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession by Charlie Lovett is a wonderful journey for anyone who loves books. It follows Peter's search in 1995, which turns into a bit of a thriller at times. But Lovett also takes the reader back in time a bit so we can learn the story of his relationship with his wife and how he came to be a bookseller. He does a beautiful job of expressing Peter's feelings about the rare books he encounters, and his feelings are contagious.

And then he takes us back even further to the history of one particular volume, whos…

Book Review: The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis

When Stella and Tom move to a new home in London, they are sad to have left their friends behind. But soon they have a mystery to solve. Their neighbor's dog, Harry, keeps disappearing. Where is he going and why is he always wet when he comes home? As they investigate the area in the garden where Harry seems to come and go, they discover a hidden tunnel that takes them back to their garden ... almost 100 years ago.

The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis is a wonderful children's book that reminds me of the adventurous stories I read as a child. I saw other reviewers say something similar. I'm not sure what it is about the way the story is told, but it is reminiscent of children's books from many years ago, yet it will definitely appeal to the kids of today.

Stella and Tom have an adventure in the past that leads to new friends and discoveries. While it's a time travel story, it doesn't have a lot of fantasy elements (although there are some moles that act a bit unusua…