The author, Monisha Rajesh announces her plans to circumnavigate the globe in eighty train journeys with her fiancé, Jem. Her carefully planned journey takes her over 72,000 kilometers and some of the highlights include her journey on the Qinghai railway in Tibet and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. She visits countries like Russia, Mongolia, North Korea and many others.
As with most journeys’ mayhem ensures, friendships are made and they come across many travellers along the way to swap stories with. They also see some amazing views.
The book is funny, clever, explores different places and cultures. I think if she had included a map that chronicled her journey it would have made the book extra special. I also think more details of the routes would have been useful to readers.
Rajesh says it best “A strip of red sky lay against a sliver of silver lake as though fire danced on the water. I wanted to capture the moment and keep it alive, touching my head to the glass to bring it closer. Until now I had taken the train for granted, dismissing it as just another long-distance service to endure. But I saw now that this train carved up the earth, shining a light into its darkest corners. It unlocked the land and threw open the skies, revealing forests tall and fearful, the night gold and bright.”
I enjoyed reading this book and for all train enthusiasts out there, this book is a great way to travel around the world.