The Christmas Train – by David Baldacci

A couple of years ago I happened upon David Baldacci’s The Memory Man series when I was looking for something available instantly from the library to fill time while waiting for requests to come in. I fell in love with Baldacci’s writing instantly and devoured the entire series. So when I was looking for a light Christmas themed book to read this month, I was thrilled to find The Christmas Train. I was hoping for endearing characters and a plot line that was easy to get lost in.

To be perfectly honest, I had a hard time getting into the book at first. I’m not sure what had me struggling. Maybe it was the fact that it started off with Sam, the main character, upset about his less than happy love life. I really didn’t care. I wanted a happy Christmas book, David! What’s going on here? But eventually Sam got lost in the story he was wanting to write about a train trip across the country at Christmas time, which is exactly why I was there too! Now we’re tracking, David. I’m happy again.

The Christmas Train, if you haven’t guessed already, has its share of romance written into it. I think 99.9% of books think that they need to have a miraculous relationship appear in order to qualify as a Christmas read these days. The only one I can think of that doesn’t is Joe Hill’s NOS4A2. But aside from that little distraction, this was a fun story full of a group of great lovable characters, a little mystery, some suspense, and even a little action toward the end!

I can’t fail to mention that I love some goofy humor every now and again. This book had me chuckling out loud in several spots. And I almost cried at a heartfelt spot full of people showing kindness to strangers in the spirit of the holidays. I’m a sap for that sort of thing.

I’m giving this book 3 out of 5 sappy stars (make that pine sap for the holidays). It would have earned more stars if it was less romancy and drew me in quicker at the beginning. But dear readers, this may be your sort of thing. If so, happy reading!

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