Why we love it:
The bestselling author of Tully and The Bronze Horseman has done it again with Lone Star. In this epic tale of love and adventure, we truly feel for our heroine Chloe Divine as she ventures through Europe. Her dangerous attraction for the mysterious stranger she meets on a train is almost palpable.
Lone Star by Paullina Simons is a compelling coming-of-age story. Four high school graduates from a small town in Maine are united by their determination to get to Europe – not just anywhere in Europe; it has to be Barcelona. Chloe and Hannah are best friends and are dating two brothers, Blake and Mason. They all grew up on the same street, went to the same school, and on the surface all is well, but Simons is skillful at keeping secrets and teasing them out slowly but surely through the narrative.
Chloe’s grandmother, Moody, funds the friends’ trip, but that comes with a condition. Despite the pull of Barcelona, they must first travel through the Baltic States, to Poland, and remember the horrors of wartime Europe. For all her issues, we sympathise with main character Chloe, and can almost feel her dangerous attraction to ‘Lone Star’, Johnny, the mysterious stranger she meets on a Latvian train. As the once-in-a-lifetime trip develops in ways they never could have expected, friendships start to unravel and past secrets rear their head.
We found reading about the friends’ travels through post-communist Europe captivating, and the descriptions of Treblinka, in particular, heartbreaking. The bestselling author of Tully and The Bronze Horseman Trilogy has delivered another epic love story – perfect reading for a long, lazy day in bed.