Review: Sleepers and Ties

“Sleepers and Ties” by Gail Kirkpatrick is a warm and unhurried book about a grieving museum curator Margaret, dealing with her sister’s death and final wishes. Like Canada, the book isn’t directly about railways, but they are intimately intertwined with the story.

We follow Margaret as she arrives in Saskatoon to attend the reading of her sister’s will. Margaret’s father was the train station agent in small town Plover, Saskatchewan and her sister Shirley was her last close relative. We quickly learn that A) Shirley left a large inheritance, and B) Shirley wanted her money used to revive the rail line through their childhood home. The rest of the book follows from that.

I enjoyed the unhurried pace of the book, and the clear “prairieness” of the story. The author knows the prairies and really captured the feeling of being out here, the wide openness and big skies.

“Sleepers and Ties” is a story about community, about legacy and about relationships. Plus, there are trains.

Thank you to the author Gail Kirkpatrick, and to River Street Writing for sending me an electronic copy of the book.

Buy Sleepers and Ties at McNally Robinson, Indigo or Amazon

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