From the acclaimed author of 'The Black Flower', a beautiful and haunting portrait of the men who served on the great American railroads. Christmas Eve, 1940. On the Pelican Road, an isolated stretch of railway between Meridian, Mississippi and New Orleans, two trains travel toward one another through the snow. A.P. Dunn, engineer aboard the 4512, a southbound freight, can remember every detail of the last trip he made in the snow, in 1923. What he can t recall are the events of a few hours ago - where he ate his breakfast, how he got the troublesome gash. On the northbound Silver Star, a luxury passenger train packed with returning college students and gift-bearing families, brakeman Artemus Kane has his own memories to contend with. Memories of French trenches and German snipers, of a failed marriage, of a too - short layover spent with Anna Rose Dangerfield, the brilliant and lonely woman he has just left behind in the Crescent City.
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