A train bound for a mysterious destination stops in the middle of a meadow. As the hours pass and the cause of the delay remain unknown, we meet the various passengers. A PRIEST, a FORMER PRESIDENT, a LONELY WAITRESS, an ELDERLY COUPLE, and a YOUNG ORPHAN BOY all ponder the significance of the journey thrust upon them and what awaits them at their ultimate destination. Order? Loneliness? Love? Soon, another train headed in the opposite direction also stops in the meadow. Its passengers are brimming with excitement of what lies ahead for them. As mysterious officials process passengers from the outbound train, the characters reflect on their pasts and examine their futures. A YOUNG GIRL, on the inbound train, sacrifices her place to the orphan boy, giving him love and hope for the first time in his life. The breathtaking climax reveals that the first train's destination is Heaven while the second is returning to Earth with new souls. Robert Nathan, the master of satiric fantasy, has crafted a timeless tapestry of love, loneliness, optimism, sacrifice, and examines our hopes, fears, and the legacies we leave behind.
"However that may be, here again Mr. Nathan leads us into a land bounded on one side by Avalon and on the other side by the Hesperides. Entering that land, with proper papers of course, one may consider with some pleasure the ageless questions that trouble all of us." -- Paul Jordan-Smith, Los Angeles Times
About the Author: Author of such revered books as PORTRAIT OF JENNIE, THE BISHOP’S WIFE, THE RIVER JOURNEY, and STONECLIFF, Robert Nathan was born in New York City in 1894 and was educated at private schools in the United States and Switzerland. While attending Harvard University where he was a classmate with E.E. Cummings, Nathan was an editor of the Harvard Monthly, in which his first stories and poems appeared. While at Cambridge, Nathan also found the time to become an accomplished cellist, a lightweight boxer, and Captain of the fencing team. After leaving college, Mr. Nathan devoted his time exclusively to writing until his passing in 1985. Early on, Nathan’s work strengthened his reputation with both the public and peers. F. Scott Fitzgerald once referred to Robert Nathan as his favorite writer. During this period, the legendary Louis B. Mayer contracted him to Hollywood to become a screenwriter. Nathan ultimately didn’t enjoy the experience, though the movie industry continually craved his work. Five of his novels have been made into films. The aforementioned “Portrait of Jennie” and “The Bishop’s Wife,” as well as “One More Spring,” “Wake Up and Dream” (from the novel “The Enchanted Voyage”) and “Color of Evening.” Robert Nathan was the author of over fifty volumes of novels, poetry, and plays, and from this body of distinguished work he acquired a reputation as a master of satiric fantasy unique in American Letters. In the twilight of his career he was known as “The Dean of Author’s,” since many prominent writers including Irving Stone and Irving Wallace sought out Nathan’s guidance. A member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters for fifty years, Mr. Nathan called both Cape Cod and California home. Happily, his last fifteen years were spent in the companionship of his wife, English born actress, Anna Lee.