Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 352 pages
First Published: 2022
Nobody ever talks to strangers on the train. It’s a rule. But what would happen if they did?
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Authenticity Project comes an escapist read that will transport you, cheer you, and make you smile—and make you, too, wish you had Iona’s gift for bringing out the best in everyone.
Every day Iona, a larger-than-life magazine advice columnist, travels the ten stops from Hampton Court to Waterloo Station by train, accompanied by her dog, Lulu. Every day she sees the same people, whom she knows only by nickname: Impossibly-Pretty-Bookworm and Terribly-Lonely-Teenager. Of course, they never speak. Seasoned commuters never do.
Then one morning, the man she calls Smart-But-Sexist-Manspreader chokes on a grape right in front of her. He’d have died were it not for the timely intervention of Sanjay, a nurse, who gives him the Heimlich maneuver.
This single event starts a chain reaction, and an eclectic group of people with almost nothing in common except their commute discover that a chance encounter can blossom into much more. It turns out that talking to strangers can teach you about the world around you–and even more about yourself.
About Clare Pooley
Clare Pooley is the founder of the blog Mummy was a Secret Drinker, sharing her journey to sobriety as a wine-addicted mom. She is the author of the memoir/advice book The Sober Diaries and her fiction novels, The Authenticity Project and Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting.