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Tuesday 20 August 2019

BOOK REVIEW: The Stationmaster's Daughter by Kathleen McGurl

I’ve been a huge fan of Kathleen McGurl’s books for some years, so I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to take part in the blog tour for her latest novel. 

The Stationmaster’s Daughter is an intriguing and heartwarming story which centres around the restoration of an old railway.  Ms McGurl was inspired to write The Stationmaster’s Daughter when her elder brother, who is a volunteer on a railway restoration project in North Devon, suggested to her that it would make an excellent setting for a story.  And so it proved.  As the author herself explains, although she has relocated the fictitious railway in The Stationmaster’s Daughter to Dorset, it bears lots of similarities to a certain narrow-gauge railway on the edge of Exmoor – similarities which will not be lost on anyone who is familiar with it.

The scenes of the book alternate between the 1930s (when the railway closed) and the present day.  Following a series of personal tragedies, Tilly Thomson comes to Dorset to stay with her father Ken, who is spending his retirement working on the project to restore the old Michelhampton & Coombe Regis Railway to its former glory.  Before long, Tilly finds herself drawn into an intriguing mystery: what really happened in the station house on the very last day of the railway’s operation?

What follows is a satisfying, thoroughly researched and beautifully written page-turner which can be enjoyed by active railway enthusiasts and relaxed armchair supporters alike.  Highly recommended.

The e-book edition of The Stationmaster’s Daughter was released on 7th August 2019, and the paperback will follow on 17th October.  If you’re looking for the ideal Christmas gift for someone who loves a gripping and well-written novel, look no further!

Sincere thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the opportunity to take part in this tour.

As the last train leaves, will life ever be the same?

Dorset 1935
Stationmaster Ted has never cared much for romance.  Occupied with ensuring England's most beautiful railway runs on time, love has always felt like a comparatively trivial matter.  Yet when he meets Annie Galbraith on the 8.42 train to Lynford, he can't help but instantly fall for her.

But soon the railway is forced to close, and a terrible accident occurs within the station grounds.  Ted finds his job - and any hope of a relationship with Annie - hanging in the balance...

Present day
Recovering from heartbreak after a disastrous marriage, Tilly decides to escape from the bustling capital and move to Dorset to stay with her dad, Ken.

When Ken convinces Tilly to help with the restoration of the old railway, she discovers a diary hidden in the old ticket office.  Tilly is soon swept up in Ted's story, and the fateful accident that changed his life for ever.

But an encounter with an enigmatic stranger takes Tilly by surprise, and she can't help but feel a connection with Ted's story in the past.

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Kathleen McGurl lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this review and for taking part in the blog tour!