Tuesday, 23 April 2019

The Seventh Train by Jackie Carreira

The Seventh Train by Jackie Carreira
Published in the UK by Troubadour on the 31st March 2019.

Featured in Cover Characteristics: Railways, one of my 2019 New Release Challenge reads and a Book With A Vegetarian Character

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What if you can’t stand where you are because there’s nothing there? What if you don’t want to end up anywhere else in case that’s empty too? When life has lost its road map, sometimes the only way to get back on track is to get back on the rails.

The Seventh Train is a ride - a ‘road movie’ on the railways. It’s a journey that Elizabeth invented; the only original thought she has ever had in her previously uneventful life. Unbeknown to her, she is not travelling alone. If only she’d pretended that the spare seat was taken.

With a wonderfully eclectic cast of characters, The Seventh Train takes its passengers on a journey from the tragic to the strange, arriving finally at hope. By turns heart-breaking, thought-provoking and hilarious, this tale is a life-affirming exploration of the human spirit via the British railway timetable! 

I gave Jackie Carreira's previous novel, Sleeping Through War, 5 stars last year because I loved her writing so I was excited to spot this new novel, The Seventh Train, on NetGalley recently. Less ambitious in its scope, The Seventh Train is nonetheless a thoughtful and well observed story. I now have a new travel quote to accompany my all time favourite 'I'm always homesick for the journey' (Discovering Aberration by S C Barrus). In The Seventh Train I could completely empathise with Elizabeth's assurance that 'Travelling is just a way of not staying where you are.'

I could see shades of myself in Elizabeth which helped me to understand why she decided on her present transient lifestyle. In fact, by the end of the story, I was feeling quite enthused to join her - although I don't know whether she would appreciate yet another companion stepping into her idea! All the characters are very real so I could easily believe in them and their individual emotional journeys. Ellie particularly is great fun to spend time with! Her lively outlook and humour is a good foil to the darker themes surrounding the characters. I felt especially strong sympathy for Daniel and could not imagine how I would cope in such a situation.

The Seventh Train began life as a short play and Carreira explains its growth through various theatrical incarnations before its current presentation as a novel. Having a little theatrical experience myself I recognised scenes that would play brilliantly on stage and would love the chance to see a production in the future!

Etsy Find!
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Books by Jackie Carreira / Contemporary fiction / Books from England


  1. That sounds like an interesting story.

    1. It kept me gripped throughout! An intriguing premise and wonderfully real characters

  2. It sounds like you really liked the characters here, especially Elizabeth who you could relate to. I love that! And it sounds like this was another good novel by the author. I am glad it was able to follow through of being another good work of theirs ^^

    1. Carreira is now an author whose new works I will grab purely because of her name on the cover. A new favourite :-)