Sitting in the Club Car Drinking Rum and Karma-Kola: A manual of etiquette for L
1 journaler for this copy...
How could I resist this!
Our Heroine, as she is quick to let us know, has fled the US after being fired from her job, getting divorced and maxing out a passel of credit cards to purchase a new lifestyle complete with mink coat and pill box hat with veil. She is an African Queen with a spare heart that works, a Katherine Hepburn in search of her Spencer Tracy.
She "entrains" at Vancouver, heading east to...somewhere.
Enter Our Hero, the man from China Bar, who swings aboard in his fedora and long coat, carrying his battered suitcase.
"Why has the train stopped for this man? For the plot, of course."
Jiles takes us on a romantic little jaunt across Canada, a three day train trip aboard "the Transcontinental". It is a trip of adventure and intrigue where neither our heroine nor our hero are exactly as they present themselves to each other to be. But as our heroine points out, "People always lie so terribly on trains."
I loved how Jiles presented this story - by way of a series of short chapters, prose poems really. It's as if Our Heroine is writing, directing and starring in her own romantic movie (40's or 50's vintage). Each chapter is a scene, sometimes a retake or told from a different perspective. One gets the sense that our heroine might just abandon the whole works to the reader at any moment if things become too sticky.
Clearly Jiles has ridden this train over this same territory. The whole trip - the sights, the places, the people (crew and passengers), the routine, the thin CPR blankets, and the dreadful breakfast, in fact, the entire little universe that is travelling across Canada on the train - is utterly authentic.
All in all a delightful, witty, read.
This is my book #7 for The Canadian Book Challenge. Jiles has dual Canadian and American citizenship and this book is truly a "Canadian" trip.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
in one of the elevators at Newport Centre.
Released for the Never Judge a Book by its Cover release challenge, week #6 (planes, trains and automobiles) for the train in the cover art.