It’s funny how life works out isn’t it? I was at an event showcasing Orion’s 2020 releases that you can read about here, where I was chatting to Veronica Henry and thrilled to pick up a copy of her book Christmas at the Beach Hut, and lo and behold, her earlier novel A Night on the Orient Express came out of the box for the U3A reading group to which I belong. I’m delighted to have my review for A Night on the Orient Express today.
A Night on the Orient Express
The Orient Express. Luxury. Mystery. Romance.
For one group of passengers settling in to their seats and taking their first sips of champagne, the journey from London to Venice is more than the trip of a lifetime.
A mysterious errand; a promise made to a dying friend; an unexpected proposal; a secret reaching back a lifetime… As the train sweeps on, revelations, confessions and assignations unfold against the most romantic and infamous setting in the world.
My Review of A Night on the Orient Express
Several people have very different reasons for boarding the Orient Express.
I have a confession. To travel on the Orient Express is on my bucket list and so reading A Night on the Orient Express allowed me to fulfil my fantasy – albeit vicariously. Veronica Henry creates the settings so perfectly, with food, music and ambiance so clearly described that I could imagine myself aboard with her characters. Similarly, I found Venice depicted exactly as I have experienced it so that I felt a clear connection to the writing.
There’s quite a cast of characters, and I thoroughly appreciated Adele’s back story that underpins the plot and draws many of the threads together. It made such a change from women’s fiction that only features thirty-somethings, to find love and life lived to the full with teenagers like Beth and the more mature Riley, Sylvie, Adele and Jack. That said, Archie was the one I felt most drawn to because his emotions more closely mirrored my own, but I don’t want to spoil the story by saying why! I thought the plotting was deftly handled as there are very disparate stories for the characters, with the Orient Express as a unifying theme. Similarly, love in its various forms from filial and parental to romantic and physical, provides a unity across the book making it such a good read.
In A Night on the Orient Express Veronica Henry presents a microcosm of society through the relationships and actions of her characters so that there is resonance for all. Modern family life and dynamics, love, betrayal, crime, grief and so on fill the pages and draw in the reader in a tapestry of drama that I thoroughly enjoyed.
A Night on the Orient Express is sheer escapism, transporting the reader to a world of romance and glamour with just enough reality to make them think they could step aboard too. I enjoyed it.
About Veronica Henry
Veronica Henry has worked as a scriptwriter for The Archers, Heartbeat and Holby City amongst many others, before turning to fiction. She won the 2014 RNA Novel Of The Year Award for A Night on the Orient Express. Veronica lives with her family in a village in north Devon.