Hoping to make a clean break from a fractured marriage, Agatha Christie boards the Orient Express in disguise. But unlike her famous detective Hercule Poirot, she can’t neatly unravel the mysteries she encounters on this fateful journey.
Agatha isn’t the only passenger on board with secrets. Her cabinmate Katharine Keeling’s first marriage ended in tragedy, propelling her toward a second relationship mired in deceit. Nancy Nelson—newly married but carrying another man’s child—is desperate to conceal the pregnancy and teeters on the brink of utter despair. Each woman hides her past from the others, ferociously guarding her secrets. But as the train bound for the Middle East speeds down the track, the parallel courses of their lives shift to intersect—with lasting repercussions.
Filled with evocative imagery, suspense, and emotional complexity, The Woman on the Orient Express explores the bonds of sisterhood forged by shared pain and the power of secrets.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Lindsay Ashford grew up in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. She was the first woman to graduate from Queens’ College, Cambridge, in its 550-year history. After earning her degree in criminology, Ashford worked as a reporter for the BBC and a freelance journalist for a number of national magazines and newspapers. She has four children and currently lives in a house overlooking the sea on the west coast of Wales.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What a clever construct – the tale behind the author! The Woman on the Orient Express is an attempt to explain Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance and divorce/remarriage. It is a delightful novel, written in a Christie-esque style, populated by intriguing characters with mysterious back stories and motivations and set against one of her most famous backdrops: the Orient Express. Hercule Poirot features, in an absolutely marvelous fashion that allows the enigmatic Belgian to shine as strongly as in any of his own stories. The tale is well paced and plotted, and feels entirely plausible for the personalities involved. I am a long-time fan of Christie’s fiction, but had never read anything about her personally. I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this one and after a bit of research came to realize that the truth is as typically Christie as the fiction… The truth behind what Christie went through as a result of her divorce may never be known; this story presents a plausible and entertaining tale to explain it that seems in character and feeds rather seamlessly into the Christie mythology. I don’t know if “experts” would necessarily agree, but regardless it makes for a great story! There are a handful of memorable quotes in this one, that demonstrate both Ashford’s facility with language and her dedication to the Christie style, Dame Agatha herself being famous for fabulous turns of phrase and encapsulations of the human condition. A few examples: -- The word sounded the way a shiver felt. -- How is it, she thought, that one can create a character who is more intelligent, more observant, more perceptive than oneself? -- She was trading shamelessly on the fact that people never suspected middle-class women the wrong side of forty to be engaged in anything underhanded. -- If there is a God, she thought, music must be his language. -- The trouble with still, peaceful places was that they allowed all manner of uninvited thoughts to push their way inside your head. And then there are the subtle points about divorce and marriage… Much of the novel deals with marriage (directly and indirectly): divorce, infidelity, the reasons for marrying or not marrying, and the compromises and concessions made in the course of living your life with another person. Those are some of the most poignant and insightful parts of this book – and also, on occasion, the reason for a little gentle eye-rolling (never of the truly frustrated variety, but occasionally of the soft-chuckling kind). This isn’t the warmest, coziest view of marriage – but it is somehow comforting to find someone being bluntly honest in discussing how the give-and-take in relationships all too often plays out as mostly give on one side, and mostly take on the other… -- “Marriage is always a leap into the unknown, even if you think you know the other person inside out. It works for some people. But I doubt there are many truly happy marriages.” -- “The trouble is people always think it must be your fault when men have had enough of you. That you didn’t try hard enough. And when you have a child that makes you feel even more of a failure.” -- “He was the first man I ever truly loved – and I don’t think you ever do get over that.” All in all this was an easy, enjoyable read. I really wanted things to work out for all of the main characters by the end – even the one(s) that I didn’t particularly like in the beginning. Personalities unfolded like spring flowers
A Very Entertaining Read. I was a First Read Winner of this Book and I really enjoyed it. Like another reviewer I thought I might have a mystery on my hands, but the story that unfolded was even better. I liked all the characters and since I have been a huge fan of Agatha Christie I could not wait to see how the story would unfold. It had been such a long time that I had read about her that I had forgotten parts of her life and this book did a beautiful job of mixing real life events with some fiction. Very entertaining and it made me want to do some train travel.
I have an uneasy relationship with books of this nature - you take a real person and a real event or two and then smoosh them up with fabricated emotions and events. All too often they feel, at the bare minimum, strangely voyeuristic. Somehow the author has managed to weave the reality and the fantasy together in a completely compelling way that keeps you turning the pages eagerly. The main thrust of the novel takes place after the well-publicised "Harrogate Incident" and follows Agatha Christie on a solo trip abroad on the magnificent Orient Express. A rail journey that she is both looking forward too immensely and dreading in no small measure. What starts off as an exploration of Ms Christie's state of mind after her divorce soon explodes in to a tale of female friendship and the rebuilding of three women's lives. There is also a little mystery thrown in for good measure - how could there not be with the Orient Express and Agatha Christie involved. The descriptions of the scenery are lush and inviting. I am not one for travelling but the landscapes and the smells are so evocative within the pages that I did find myself somewhat tempted to experience them for myself. In particular the scenes at Ur really helped you feel the oppressive heat, the grit of the sand getting in to every nook and cranny and the thrill of new discoveries - in more ways than one for Agatha. It is not all about Agatha Christie and the landscapes, or even the train. It is about her travelling companions Nancy and Katherine too. Their stories are just as compelling and Agatha's and, in many ways, much more tragic. Although not everyone featured was a real person who definitely knew Agatha Christie or was certainly in the same social circle so could be postulated to have known her there is such a taut blend between fact and fiction that even the genuinely fictional characters and events feel real. This particularly applies to Nancy and her rather shocking, for the times, predicament. I also enjoyed the tiny section at the end where the author takes the time to recommend further reading for the "true" story of what happened during those years and also to lay out what liberties she had taken with both the timeline of certain meetings and events in Agatha Christie's life. I have never read any Agatha Christie novels or really knew much more about her than her disappearing off to Harrogate - having read this book it has made me somewhat intrigued to learn more about her and maybe read some of her books.
Loved this novel! Highly recommended!! The story includes famous writer Agatha Christie, soon after her divorce. This is a story of three women in crisis - much based on true events. I often stopped to look up characters on the Internet which made the story even more interesting. The novel includes traveling on the Orient Express, at a dig, in exotic places, and in romantic places. Just excellent story! The book deserves an A++++++
I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Lindsay Jayne Ashford, and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, for sharing your work with me! This is an excellent historical novel, following loosely the life events of Agatha Christie. I would recommend to anyone who enjoys Agatha's wonderful mysteries. Now I must reread any-many-all of those wonderful tales before I read this again.