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Amidst the strange, silent aftermath of World War II in a small Australian coastal town, a widow, a poet, and a doctor search for lasting peace and fresh beginnings in this internationally acclaimed, award-winning novel.
Anikka Lachlan has all she ever wanted—a loving family, a beautiful home, a natural purpose—until a random act transforms her into another postwar widow, destined to raise her daughter on her own. Now she looks for answers in the pages of her favorite books and tries to learn the most difficult lesson of all: how to go on living.
A local poet, Roy McKinnon, experiences a different form of incomprehension. How could he write amidst the vile chaos of war but lose his voice and vision upon returning home? Meanwhile, a local doctor, Frank Draper, seeks to reclaim his pre-war life but struggles to cope with his failure to help those who needed him most—the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps.
Then one day, on the mantle of her sitting room, Ani finds a poem. She doesn’t know how it got there, and its author is unattributed. But she has her suspicions. A love triangle involving the poet, the poem, and Ani begins to form between an emerging reality and the things she wishes were true.
Written in clear, shining prose, The Railwayman’s Wife explores the power of beginnings and endings—and how difficult it can be to tell them apart. It is an exploration of life, loss, and what comes after, of connection and separation, longing and acceptance, and an unadulterated celebration of love that will break open the reader’s heart.