Book Review

Outbound Train by Renea Winchester

This book opens the story in Bryson City, North Carolina. A town that’s always had it’s challenges. The train comes through on a regular schedule each day and shakes the trailer where we meet Barbara at a turning point in her life. She’s ready to escape her hometown and it’s lack of opportunity for her. One fateful night, in 1960 her life is changed forever. As the story weaves back-and-forth between 1960 and 1976 we meet her daughter, Carole Ann, and her mother, Pearlene. They are three women struggling just to survive.

As their choices intersect, all the secrets that Barbara has been swallowing alone, come to the surface. The three Parker women want a chance, a chance to live without worrying where their next meal is coming from, a chance to pay their bills and give back. A chance for a future. Will they find that one opportunity that pushes them out of the cycle of poverty?

A solid 4 stars! The details, and terrific story-telling will make these women come alive for you. The author knows the small town she grew up in and portrays the hardscrabble life of the Parker women with descriptive clarity. It tells how one choice made at a young age can change your whole life. But Barbara also found a way to go around the roadblock and bring her daughter and mother out with her.

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