Night Train to Florence

1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star Adult
Italy, 1980s. The shy unnamed narrator and her tougher English friend, Liz, are booksmart but inexperienced 18-year-old students on a budget traveling around Northern Italy by train. As they share adventures, wine and conversation, their edgy friendship not surprisingly begins to deepen. But it's on their final nocturnal train trip back to Florence that they take it beyond friendship. More

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About Gabriella West

Gabriella West was born in Santa Barbara in 1967. In 1969, her parents moved to Ireland, and she grew up in Ireland, studying English and Italian at Trinity College, Dublin. She graduated and left Ireland in 1988.

She earned an MA degree in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University in 1995.

Wolfhound Press published her novel "Time of Grace" in 2002. It's the story of a young English governess who travels to Ireland in 1915 for work and falls in love with an Irish maid who is secretly caught up in plotting for the upcoming Easter Rising in 1916. "Time of Grace" is now available in e-book form.

"The Leaving" was first published as an ebook at Smashwords in 2011.

Gabriella West lives in San Francisco, CA.

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Reviews

Review by: Kate Genet on May 26, 2013 : star star star star star
I've been reading Gabriella West's work since I was a review writer for the Kissed By Venus website and magasine, now sadly closed down. Her novel 'The Leaving' impressed me enough to follow her work closely. I bought this short story when it was first published, then came here to get it in a different format, and have been back to read it several times since.

There's something about the way Ms. West writes that really resonates with me. It might be a personal thing, but even so, there's an unflinching honesty to her work that makes her narrative voice compelling. Even though this story is short, it still manages to take up a lot of space in my head. She has a skill for choosing the right detail, the perfect description, to fill in for everything else, making the picture she paints in her stories colourful, intriguing and above all - realistic.

There's no glossing over things in Night Train to Florence. West writes the tale with brutal honesty. It's not a glamourous story, but it still shines. The two characters illustrate perfectly the inexperience, introspection and desire of their youth. Funnily enough, although there's no big romantic, rose-coloured tint to the intimate scene that transpires on this train journey, it's one of the most memorable, touching, and actually pretty damned sexy loves scenes I've read.

If you're wanting a deftly-written and intelligent story, well, here it is.
(review of free book)

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