By Angela Hunt
Published by Hunt Haven
About Author: Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over four million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.
Now that her two children have reached their twenties, Angie and her youth-pastor husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards--one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City. Afterward, the dog gave out paw-tographs at the airport.
When she's not home writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers' conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course. Readers may visit her web site at www.angelahuntbooks.com
Back Cover: A train roars over the rails, carrying passengers on a trip that will change their lives. Among the many people aboard the 97 Silver Meteor are Andie Crystal, a lonely young woman hiding from her youth as a reality TV star; Matthew Scofield, a widower trying to manage his responsibilities to his two young children; and Janette Turlington, a middle–aged mother running from a situation that has destroyed the peace in her home and marriage. These three form a makeshift family on an Amtrak tour through the Southern seaboard, a journey that just might heal their wounded hearts and restore them to the people to whom they matter most . . .
Review:Thanks to The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org for the review copy of this book. Angela hunt is one of my favorite authors. Here tag line is “expect the unexpected.” I love the fact that when I sit down to read one her books I never know where she’ll take me next and she gets me to think about things I normally wouldn't. This book is no exception.
Angela Hunt calls Passing Strangers a suite;” a novel composed of three separate but interconnected stories, but with only one main character per story.” I liked this approach for this story. It worked and helped make each of these characters situations real and believable.
Three lives intersect on the Amtrak train #2171 Acela Express – 97 Silver Meteor. Each person signed up for the package that would take them to Washington, Williamsburg, Charleston, Savannah and St. Augustine. Passengers would take tour busses to explore each city – they had two days to do just that.
The story opens up with Addie Crystal. She has been working very hard at her job with the T.V. station and working just as hard to hide from her past. Her boss was demanding she take a vacation. She gives them all the reasons why a vacation is a bad idea. But they surprise her with this trip on a train. Who traveled by train? Addie would soon find out.
Janette Turlington is a middle aged mother desperate to get away from the life she has been living. She needed time to think about her next move. In her escape she comes to the Amtrak station and decides to take a trip. There she’d have time to make sense of things!
Matthew Scofield decides to take his young children on a train ride hoping to create some special memories and have fun with them; still dealing with the death of their mom; Matt’s wife.
As these three unlikely strangers meet their lives take a radical turn. Change doesn’t happen all at once but there is something special about all of them beginning together. They get to know each other as they jump off the Amtrak train and tour through the southern seaboard states. Each senses the other is carrying a heavy burden – one they were never meant to carry alone.
I liked reading about the fun each of them had as they played tourists for two days in each city. I also enjoyed their interaction and how this unlikely friendship developed between Addie, Matthew and Janette. This author does a great job of letting the reader get a feel for each of their unique situations and also agonize with each of them; realizing how hard it was to talk about the struggle they each were facing. I adored Matthew’s two children Emilia and Roman. They were so much fun.
Each of the main characters in Passing Strangers is running away from something. Can we truly escape our problems? No, but God can give us the courage, support of others (with divine appointments like this one) and His promise to be with us every step of the way. This is a great book to bring to the beach and get away from it all! It’s also a good book club pick with discussion questions in the back that will generate lively discussion.
It was a thrill to catch up with Angela Hunt and Alexander Hannah at the ICRS conference in Atlanta a few weeks ago.
Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.orgThe Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com