Rexanne Becnel’s “The Christmas Train” is a sweet and heartbreaking holiday novella. The story of a ten year old girl being sent to live with father she’s never met and a very old woman who believes she’s traveling home to her family for Christmas – a family that died in World War II, it is what the holiday season is in a nutshell.
Holidays are stressful. They are the time of year when we miss the people who’ve gone before us the most. Holidays are when we are surprised to find ourselves filled with a warmth and love we hadn’t expected. They are the time of year when we realize that as bad as things are now, they’ve been worse and we should cherish what we have.
Becnel did a fantastic job of portraying Miss Eva as an elderly woman who likely suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Her periods of being in the moment and fading into the past are well-written and believable. It’s sweet and heartbreaking that Anna and her father become Miss Eva’s surrogate family, filling whatever roles she needs filled in the moment. And she’s able to help them fill the roles that they need to fill for each other.
At the end of “The Christmas Train,” there is no doubt that Anna will be okay. And that’s how a Christmas story should end.
“The Christmas Train” is available now.
(I received a copy of “The Christmas Train” through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This review will be posted on NetGalley, Goodreads, and on my blog.)