Welcome to another edition of Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill, at Breaking the Spine.  Here we get to spotlight upcoming book releases and share why we’re waiting for them.

Today I’m featuring a book that came to my attention recently; it will be released on October 13, 2011.  Sort of like a birthday present, since I was born in October.

The Train of Small Mercies, by David Rowell, follows the intrepid search for hope in the debris of an American tragedy.


In New York, a young black porter struggles through his first day on the job-a staggering assignment aboard Robert F. Kennedy’s funeral train. In Pennsylvania, a woman creates a tangle of lies to sneak away from her disapproving husband and pay her respects to the slain senator, dragging her child with her. In Maryland, a wounded young soldier awaits a newspaper interview that his parents hope will restore his damaged self-esteem. And in Washington, an Irish nanny in town to interview with the Kennedy family must reconcile the lost opportunity and the chance to start her life anew.

In this stunning debut, David Rowell depicts disparate lives united by an extraordinary commemoration, irrevocably changed as Kennedy’s funeral train makes its solemn journey from New York to Washington.

About the Author

David Rowell is an editor at The Washington Post Magazine and has taught literary journalism at American University in Washington, D.C. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. This is his first novel.


I was among those who lived through the Kennedy years, watching as one tragic event after another captured the media and the people.  I can’t wait to read this book!


  1. It sounds like a good read. The Minnesota Historical Society is preparing an exhibit on 1968, and it was such an explosive time (from what I’ve heard– I was born in ’75 so it’s a little before my time) that it’s bound to be interesting!

    Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂


  2. I love books that have to do anything about history. This one sounds like it would be a enjoyable read. Great pick! Thanks for stopping by our blog and commenting on our WoW.

    Alice @ The Story Seekers.


    • I’m always a bit startled when others categorize books from the 1960s as “historical,” but I guess that is accurate. Since I lived through those times, I think of them as contemporary. LOL

      Thanks for stopping by,Amy.


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