The Postcard - Zoe Folbigg
Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley
The sequel to the bestselling phenomenon The Note – based on the true story of one girl and her 'Train Man'... A year after the kiss that brought them together in a snowy train-station doorway, Maya and James are embarking on another journey – this time around the world. The trip starts promisingly, with an opulent and romantic Indian wedding. But as their travels continue, Maya fears that 'love at first sight' might not survive trains, planes and tuk tuks, especially when she realises that what she really wants is a baby, and James doesn't feel the same. Can Maya and James navigate their different hopes and dreams to stay together? Or is love at first sight just a myth after all...
I was a bit unsure about reading this third book from Zoe Folbigg after having been disappointed with ‘The Distance. However, knowing that this followed the story of Maya and James that we met in her first book ‘The Note’, I decided to give it a go. I’m so glad I did, this had the same kind of magic that ‘The Note’ did and really absorbs you into their story. The story picks up a year after we left them finally getting together and this time follows them navigating a new relationship whilst also travelling the world. They go on an around the globe trip that doesn’t always go to plan. When I first started to read the book, the first chapter had me really confused; I even checked twice whether I was reading the correct book or whether NetGalley had sent me the wrong document. All is revealed, though, and that random first chapter is a story that interweaves itself throughout the main story. We don’t just follow Maya and James’ adventures; we also check in on Nena who has recently had a baby with Tom. The usually vivacious woman is struggling with her new role as a mother and without her best friend around to help, she feels completely alone and lost. Maya and James have a lot of hurdles to overcome with backpacking around South Asia. It’s not all romance and fluffy hotels but real life-affirming challenges. It’s also getting to know the nitty-gritty of each other and what they want out of life. Is it the same, and can they get through what should have been a relationship-making trip? The story certainly takes a very unexpected turn towards the end, and I would love to know if any of this is based on actual events like ‘The Note’ was. Unfortunately, in the NetGalley copy, there wasn’t an afterword from the author, so I’m still in the dark on this matter. It certainly added to the intrigue though thinking that some of the things and experiences may have been based on a true story? A really uplifting, but at moments heartbreaking, book. I would definitely recommend this, and I am glad Folbigg went back to her roots with this book and gave us, the reader, what we so very much needed. To know what happened to Maya and Train Man!