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I think I said it all when I reviewed The Long Weekend last year, but I don't think there's any harm in saying it again. There are a few kinds of novels I always know I'll enjoy. With a small few exceptions, I usually enjoy dual-time narratives, so long as the links aren't too clunky. And I enjoy books set in exotic places - unless the stories are a disappointment. Then there are the books - think of the late Maeve Binchy - where you take one location and introduce a cast of characters, all with their own stories, each of which is satisfyingly concluded by the end of the book. This book ticks all the boxes, and in wonderful style - set before, during and after a trip of a lifetime on the Orient Express, with a fascinating cast of characters.

We have the earlier story of Adele, who escapes her routine life and routine marriage by opening an art gallery in the annex of her home with the support of an enigmatic stranger she meets at an auction. Her granddaughter Imogen is making the trip to Italy to escape a difficult relationship and to collect a painting she is to be given for her birthday. Riley is an aging and successful photographer, who makes the trip regularly with the woman he has long loved at a distance. Archie and Emmie, both with recent tragedy in their lives, have been brought together by a dating website for the trip. Stephanie has recently moved in with Simon, and is building a relationship with him and his two teenage children: together on the train, their problems threaten to ruin the trip.

Veronica Henry again picks up all the threads, and weaves them into a wonderful story with a magical setting that absolutely enthralls. I read it in one sitting, totally escaping from reality and really not wanting it to end - but being thoroughly satisfied when it does. The last time I described a Veronica Henry book I drew comparisons with Maeve Binchy - this one reminded me of a Richard Curtis film, and left me with the same warm fuzzy feeling. Fabulous stuff - if you have a romantic bone anywhere in your body, and enjoy a well told story, you must read this one.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 8 July 2013
This is a lovely feel good read following five groups of travellers on their journeys from London to Venice on the Orient Express. We follow each set through their preparations for the journey, the travelling itself and then their time in Venice. Running in the background, throughout the book, there is also a sixth story - a very romantic love story spanning 50 years and which provides the reason for one traveller, Imogen, making the journey now. It does seem at first that there are a lot of characters to keep track off, but you soon get used to it and with each story being so unique you don't seem to get muddled at all.

The descriptions of the train are wonderful, you can really feel the luxury and get the whole sense of being pampered by the stewards and staff on the train. You almost feel as if you are sitting in the bar car yourself, sipping a cocktail just watching the characters. Venice itself is also described beautifully, very evocative and again you could almost be sitting in a gondola outside "The Cyp" watching everyone else on their holidays.

It really is the perfect book for people watching as you really do feel like a fly on the wall on the journey and in Venice. An easy to read story which is very romantic in places that you don't have to think about but which is very enjoyable. An excellent sun lounger read.
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VINE VOICEon 20 July 2013
It is the dream of many (myself included) to ride on one of the most infamous trains and going on a journey that has been made famous by books and the sheer opulence of the experience. At the moment I cannot go, but the next best thing is to read about it and so Veronica Henry's latest novel combines everything to make it a journey that none of her characters can forget and her readers get that glimpse of romance, history and experience something they may never get the chance to do - and there is not a dead body or a little Belgian detective in sight!

Meet the passengers: Imogen who is on a mission to recover a painting from a friend of her grandmothers. By doing so she is opening up the past and learning something very surprising about her grandmother, Adele's past. She is also running away from making a decision but it so happens that someone is trying to catch her to make her change her mind - perhaps this journey Adele sent her on was for more than brnging back a painting.

Riley has made a decision and he is going to ask the ultimate question to his ultimate lady. However, will his fame and her notoriety mean that it is all just another bubble he is living in? But surely being on the train on their annual visit to Venice should mean something after all these years?

Archie and Emmie are unknown to each other but they are about to be thrown together. Archie is fulfilling his best friend's final wish before he died and Emmie has to thank her interfering sister. Both have been set up on a blind date via a dating website competition and it seems just churlish to refuse when you get to go on the Orient Express.

Stephanie and Simon are in the early stages of their relationship. But Simon brings baggage with him - his two teenage children; Jamie and Beth. They in turn have brought their problems with them. It does not look like this is going to be the relaxing trip that this family were wanting.

And so as the train departs we are embraced into these character's lives and as the miles are covered, the scenery changes we learn more about these people all thrown together on a journey of some sort of another. There is heartache, romance, delicious food and glorious scenery. Veronica Henry has done her research and brought something to life and given it a real film star picture quality to the words, and lets us experience it all.

When they reach their destination - they all take different paths but it is the journey on the train which will bind them all together and the effect it has on their lives as they return to something called normality. Will they ever be same after a Night on the Orient Express?

Great escpaist read and if you needed something for hot sultry days and nights then this is the book - just as you need Agatha Christie - Murder on the Orient Express for cold, snowy dark afternoons. The perfect combination of books.
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on 22 April 2014
Have you ever read a book which you crave when you’re doing something else? I had that exact feeling when I was reading A Night On The Orient Express. I stupidly went to London for the day without it and it was all I thought about.

The prologue is an unusual yet magnificent way to begin the narrative. It is the descriptive paragraphs of why you should ride the Orient Express which captivated me the most. Readers are yet to meet any of the characters but soon enough, we learn of their lives before they board the train.

Adele is an elderly yet sophisticated lady who desperately wants a certain painting back in her life. Riley is a well known man whose life is about to change… Archie is looking for his perfect woman but right now, he’s focusing on his friend. Imogen is celebrating a birthday whilst being disappointed by her boyfriend. She is the grandchild to Adele. Stephanie is adjusting to life as a stepmother.

The journey from Victoria to Calais is where we learn a lot more about the characters, whether that’s from themselves or from the people around them. Fair warning: There are a lot more characters than the ones I’ve listed above. The addition of the past is crucial for the readers as it allows us to piece the plot together.

The journey from Calais to Venice is a pleasant change as we also read from Robert’s point of view who is a member of the crew. I thoroughly enjoyed the links to The Great Gatsby as well. There are some happy you-won’t-stop-smiling moments but there are also a few of comfortable, yet normal family moments.

When the group arrive in Venice, they all go their separate ways and I wondered whether they’d all meet. The ending chapter focuses on one character who I think Veronica intended to be the main character. However, I was a tiny bit disappointed because I wanted to know what had happened to everyone else.
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on 6 July 2013
"A Night on the Orient Express" had been on my wish list for a while, and it didn't disappoint! Veronica Henry reminds me of a more contemporary and descriptive Maeve Binchy; this lovely story featuring a cast of characters sharing one enchanting overnight journey on the infamous train from London to Venice captivated me from page one. This is the kind of book you'll return to time and again - a relaxing read, with rich descriptions so vivid you can easily imagine yourself on the train yourself (oh, to dream!). Highly recommended!
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on 21 August 2013
An intelligent beach read with an innovative plot and affable characters. A good read in between the 'heavies'. In addition, the descriptions make the reader want to travel on the Orient Express. A trip for a partner's significant Birthday.
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on 5 August 2013
Having read all of her books I was very disappointed by this one. Completely predictable and thoroughly wishy washy. Certainly dont buy it if you can borrow it. Come on Veronica you can and have done so much better than this.
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on 15 September 2013
I found it tedious. The time actually spent on the Orient Express is minimul, thats what attracted me to the book in the first place.
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on 3 October 2013
This is the first Veronica Henry book I've read and I was drawn to it, I imagine like many readers, by it's glorious setting - the romantic, classic and glamorous Orient Express. Set on board the train's famous journey from London to Paris it was beautifully atmospheric and a wonderful setting for a novel.

The setting for the book was not it's only charm however, this novel followed a number of different stories. Emmie & Archie who have won their trip courtesy of a matchmaking website competition, Sylvie & Riley who have been lovers for years but are reaching their twilight years and long for stability, the blended family with two troubled teens and Imogen who is travelling to Venice to collect a painting on behalf of her grandmother Adele from a mysterious friend Jack. The way in which their stories intertwine are beautiful. We bob backwards and forwards between present day and Adele's past looking into each story intertwined.

Occasionally in books like this where authors try to pack in lots of intertwined stories you can sometimes feel you are granted only snapshots or that some characters are given less time. Henry though does a remarkable job of ensuring each story is defined in it's own right and that each is concluded. It is an extremely well written story, it evokes real atmosphere of travelling on board the world famous train and of it's destination Venice. It made me yearn for the chance to one day experience this famous journey and the Hotel Ciprianni.

I would love to spend more time reading Veronica Henry if all her books are of this calibre.
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on 14 September 2013
In the prologue, the train is silent and empty, waiting for its passengers. The passengers are waiting on the platform.

Next, we read an advert. A dating agency is running a competition to win a night on the Orient Express. We get to read the profiles of two people.

Before the journey, we spend time with our characters. Widow 84 year old Adele who sends her granddaughter, Imogen, on the mysterious errand; Imogen herself who has run the art gallery with her grandmother and is now at a crossroads; Riley, a photographer who is still in demand despite his age. He journeys on the Orient Express on the same date each year; Archie, a farmer, and his best friend Jay; Stephanie who has been in a relationship with Simon for three months and finding where she fits in the family with his two children, Beth and Jamie.

Amidst the opulence and pampering on the journey from Victoria to Calais, issues and conflict build but also new relationships are formed. At Calais, two more characters join in the journey. One expected and one a surprise for the woman waiting inside the train.

Venice works its magic on our characters with some very intense scenes.

The author's descriptions of the Orient Express and Venice let my imagination believe I was there on the train and experiencing the beauty of Venice.

A Night on the Orient Express is beautifully written. I loved being involved in the lives of the characters. Through our characters we experience love in all its different hues. There's passion, a soul bonding that could have been destructive; new love between younger characters; enduring love; the love for a best friend and familial love. There is just so much to hold your attention with real life issues. I love a book that engages the emotions totally and this really is an emotional ride (forgive the pun!).

I purchased this book.
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