The theme for Heidi Peterson's Inkling Explorations link-up this month is: "A scene happening on/at/around a train or train station." I have decided to share a passage from near the opening of one of my favorite books, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It's an epistolary novel set just after WWII has ended, and this is part of a letter from the protagonist, Juliet Ashton, to a friend:
Night-time train travel is wonderful again! No standing in the corridors for hours, no being shunted off for a troop train to pass, and above all, no black-out curtains. All the windows we passed were lighted, and I could snoop once more. I missed it so terribly during the war. I felt as if we had all turned into moles scuttling along in our separate tunnels. I don't consider myself a real peeper -- they go in for bedrooms, but it's families in sitting rooms or kitchens that thrill me. I can imagine their entire lives from a glimpse of bookshelves, or desks, or lit candles, or bright sofa cushions (p. 13-14).
That's the passage that first made me feel like I could be friends with Juliet. Because I do exactly the same thing when I'm riding in a car past houses at night -- I look in windows and see what the rooms inside are like and imagine what the people inside must be like based on that scrap of their world that I've seen. Juliet is also a writer, and perhaps that's a writerly proclivity? I don't know. But that passage in TGLAPPPS has always stuck in my mind as a perfect description of one of my own habits.
If you want to know more about this book, and why I love it, you can read my full review here.