Ashley Hay's beautiful romance of grief and love [is] set in the escarpment landscape that once enchanted D.H. Lawrence Everything about this novel - sudden loss, unexpected love, misdirected hope and desire, as well as the mysterious power of the written word and the candescence of the coastal landscape itself - is expressed with a profound understanding of every nuance of emotion. The Railwayman's Wife illuminates the deepest places of the human heart.
A beautifully rendered and psychologically acute picture ... Finally, though, Thirroul itself emerges as a central presence in the novel ... we know D.H. Lawrence got in first ... Yet it is fair to say Hay, who spent her childhood in the same town, brings her own poetry to bear... in a manner that recalls the sour-sweet best of Michael Ondaatje's fiction. Another author, Ford Madox Ford, began his The Good Soldier by claiming, "This is the saddest story." It isn't. That title rightly belongs to The Railwayman's Wife.
Exquisitely written and deeply felt, The Railwayman's Wife is limpid and deep as the rock pools on the coastline beloved by this book's characters and just as teeming with vibrant life. Ashley Hay's novel of love and pain is a true book of wonders.
A fine evocation of place and time - a vivid love letter to a particular corner of post-war Australia. Ashley Hay writes with subtle insight about grief and loss and the heart's voyage through and beyond them. It's a lovely, absorbing, and uplifting read
A beautifully attentive study of what comes after - after a funeral, after a war - and Ashley Hay is a wise and gracious guide through this fascinating territory. This is a book in which grief and love are so entwined they make a new and wonderful kind of sense.
A book that overflows with gratitude for the hard, beautiful things of this world, and for the saving worlds of our imagination.
I love Ashley Hay's writing ... it's so poised and beautiful. And I know Ashley, and she writes as she is. I always like that in a person: when the writing that they do is very much the person that you get, it has an integrity about it that I enjoy ... She can't write a bad sentence
Melancholic, but in the best possible way