Train I Ride. Paul Mosier. 2017. HarperCollins. 192 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: The train I ride is sixteen coaches long.
Premise/plot: Rydr is our young heroine. After the death of her grandmother, she finds herself on a train heading east to live with her great uncle. Readers learn what happened before in a series of flashes, memories. The novel ends when she arrives in Chicago; it ends before she meets her new guardian. So readers are left with a bit of uncertainty. Rydr's story is revealed as she interacts with fellow passengers on the train--both children and adults.
My thoughts: I didn't expect to love, love, love this one. But I did. Rydr is a vulnerable young girl with a big heart. Her heart may not be trusting, and, she may have more than a couple of schemes always in place. Yet how could you say she isn't compassionate?! I'm thinking of the scene where she spends what little money she has--five dollars--buying a hand-made bracelet from a young girl who is just as desperate for money as Rydr is. I have many, many favorite scenes in this one. I loved Rydr's friendship with Tenderchucks, a young boy scout. These two are so good for one another. Another relationship I loved to see develop through the course of the novel was that of Rydr and Neal.
What I loved about this one: the writing, the coming-of age elements, the relationship-building, the characterization.
If a poem is using words in a way that isn't quite what you're accustomed to, don't think that there's something wrong with you or your ability to understand them. They're just art objects painted with words. Sometimes they look like things you recognize, and sometimes not. (65)
"We should make a pact," he says. "A non-cruelty pact." "Between us?" "Between us. And everyone we meet. Until it extends to everyone." (93)
The people sitting at the table with me feel like a family. My family. If I could choose my family they'd be just like this. (113)
Carlos folds and unfolds his hands. "The best kind of people are people who feel, and who hold hope in their hearts. Even if it sometimes means being hurt and disappointed. Even if it means always being hurt and disappointed." (161)© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews