Night Train to Lisbon is a sensuous tale of the pursuit of love and passion against all odds, set in the 1930s when the world was on the brink of war and suspicion of loyalty, motivation, and intent -- to both country and lover -- was at flood tide.
Carson Weatherell is a privileged young American woman traveling in Europe in 1936, courtesy of her aunt and uncle who live abroad and have kindly offered to show her the sights. A bout of illness and self-pity almost send her back to her sheltered Connecticut life, but on an overnight train to Lisbon, she suddenly can't imagine returning home. On that train she meets Alec Breve, a young British scientist traveling with a group of colleagues -- and in his company, Carson finds that she's enjoying herself, certainly for the first time since she left New York Harbor, and quite possibly for the first time in her life.
In Lisbon, Carson and Alec begin an intense love affair, but their bliss is threatened when Carson's uncle reveals that Alec might be a spy for Germany. He insists that it is essential that Alec be trapped and brought to justice, and the only person who can deliver an unsuspecting Alec to the proper authorities is Carson. Desperate to believe in her new love -- and terrified of discovering she has fallen for a traitor -- Carson must choose whether to prove her lover innocent or leave him to face the consequences on his own.
A riveting page-turner, Night Train to Lisbon travels back to the days when war loomed, the Mitford sisters dazzled, and night trains brimmed with romance and intrigue, delivering a mesmerizing novel of a love that must truly conquer all in order to survive.
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Emily Grayson is the author of four previous novels, The Gazebo, The Observatory, The Fountain, and Waterloo Station. She lives in New York City with her husband and children.From Publishers Weekly:
Evoking shades of Casablanca, Grayson (Waterloo Station) spins a tale of spycraft and love in this lightweight period novel. In the summer of 1936, sheltered, lovely Carson Weatherell, privileged daughter of wealthy Connecticut parents, sets off on a European tour with her Aunt Jane and Jane's husband, Lawrence, a British intelligence officer. On the train from Paris to Lisbon, Carson meets the eye of dashing Alec Breve, a young British physicist who introduces the girl to the world of the intellect as well as the heart. Trouble is brewing, however, and Carson grows up in a hurry when her uncle confronts her with evidence that Alec is a spy for the Germans. She can't deny the suspicions planted by this news, but neither can she completely believe it. At first she is determined to have nothing further to do with Alec, but she must face him when he appears at her home. Reunited, they decide to return to England and clear Alec's name. But with war in the air, will they be believed? Grayson's handling of young love is touching, if rather prissy—"the train continued on along its tracks, unaware that on the platform at its very end, a young American girl—no, a young American woman—was falling in love"—but finely drawn characters are given too little to do in what could've been a more substantial story, given longer treatment.
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