Train to Glory

Young Adult - General
344 Pages
Reviewed on 09/29/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Lisa Potocar lives in upstate New York with her husband and cuddly keeshonds. Her passion for writing and research stems from her former work in healthcare administration and as a professor. When not tracking some morsel of history to shape into a story, she is a tomboy at heart who loves to hike and bike and has traveled the world to do it.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

From the award-winning author of Sweet Glory comes an exciting love story, Train to Glory. Jana Brady is finally home after her period of spying on the Confederacy, a job filled with many dangers. Now she must find her sweetheart, Keeley Cassidy, who’s gone missing from battle. The only problem when she finds him is that he’s lost all memory of his past and can’t remember they have been lovers. How Jana plans to win his heart back is an adventure that will take readers to very exciting places, including her kidnapping, the appearance for the 88th State Legislature event, and her brilliant speech. Lisa Y. Potocar certainly wins the hearts of readers looking for romance with a twist.

Train to Glory is the first book by Lisa Y. Potocar that I have read and although it’s her second book in the series, it doesn’t feel so dependent on her earlier work, which means any reader can feel immediately connected with the characters and with the story right from its opening pages. Beginning with the arrival of Jana in her hometown and her psychological state, the author introduces tension by portraying the conflicting and intense emotions the young soldier harbors in her heart. The tension only grows stronger and when readers feel that it’s reached a climax, another wave of surprise hits them. I loved the way Jana is depicted, brave and daring, an unstoppable woman, and the very epitome of the life every woman craves. The prose is impeccable and the powerful descriptions paint a sizzling setting for readers to revel in. Fast paced and very entertaining, this book will come across as a great source of entertainment for many young and adult readers.

Michelle Stanley

Train to Glory is a young adult novel by Lisa Y. Potocar. Jana Brady returns home after escaping the gallows for spying on the Confederates. Her soldier-beau, Keeley Cassidy, goes missing while engaged in a battle so Jana and friends search for him. They find Keeley, but he has amnesia and doesn’t remember Jana. Keeley stays at the Brady farm while Jana accepts a contract on behalf of the women’s suffrage movement. She is to speak about her roles as soldier and spy. However, not everyone is pleased to have a woman competing in a man’s world and Jana is kidnapped. She is released and Jana continues her tour under the protection of her friends and Pinkerton agents, but the assailants are relentless.

Train to Glory is a fascinating novel that has adventure, romance, action, and intrigue, and a cast of interesting, well-defined characters. Jana and her friends are strong and supportive. Their complex personalities and witty dialogue made the story come alive. The women’s suffrage movement experienced both positive and negative reactions from females and men who held firm beliefs about women’s roles in society. Lisa Y. Potocar made these issues that Susan Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Frederick Douglas struggled to lobby for seem more convincing. It also made me more aware of the dangers and significant contribution women like Jana made to perform their various duties in the Civil War. Train to Glory is a well-written story that readers will find thought provoking and informative.

Lisa McCombs

After escaping the gallows for spying on the confederacy, Jana Brady’s heroism is tested further when she receives reports that her true love and fellow soldier, Keeley Cassidy, has gone missing. With a heavy heart, Jana returns home to the loving arms of her parents and sisters, who believe that Jana has served her time providing nursing assistance in the trenches. She doesn’t relish disclosing her true participation in the war, but the desire to enlist their aid in finding Keeley overrides the discomfort she anticipates.

With her comrade, Leanne, at her side, Jana finds her love suffering from amnesia. Although her parents fall in love with Keeley, Jana fears that his memories of their love will remain dormant. In an effort to allow his mind space from her presence and time to heal, Jana agrees to take her experiences in the trenches on tour as she travels across New York State to present the importance of women’s rights, while supporting the efforts of such historical persons as Susan Anthony.

Train to Glory by Lisa Potocar is an historically accurate account of one woman’s quest to exemplify the importance of women in our society. Potocar’s dialogue is intriguing in its genuine authenticity. Although this is fiction, it reads with the intent of an actual biography. I believe that the target audience could include young readers as well as adults. This is a story of bravery and adventure that deserves a space on the shelves of many book stores. Awesome!

Benjamin Ookami

A sequel to Lisa Y. Potocar's Sweet Glory, Train to Glory is set in the mid-1860s. Before returning to her home in Elmira, New York, Jana disguised herself as a man to join the Tenth New York Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. It was during this time that Keeley fell in love with her. Keeley is missing, but it doesn't take long for Jana and her army friend, Leanne, to find him, but something has changed. Because someone had decided to hit Keeley with the butt of rifle on his head, he doesn't remember a thing. Jana wishes for Keeley's memories as well as his love for her to return, but for that to happen, she has to become the voice of all women seeking equal rights around the country and put her life in danger.

Nothing is made simple for Jana and Keeley. The author quickly thrusts readers into an America at war during Abraham Lincoln's time when Jana, Leanne, and a Keeley - who doesn't remember her - have to come to the aid of a woman who is alone at home. The author paints her characters beautifully, both with her descriptions as well her characters' dialogue. Readers won't constantly feel that they should've read Sweet Glory before Train to Glory. The author generously lets readers in when it comes to what happened during Jana's time as a disguised soldier and as a spy. She proves that elements of suspense can be integrated into novels set in any time. It's a wonderful novel that I would easily recommend to all fans of historical fiction.

Katelyn Hensel

Jana Brady has already had a rough ride. After nearly being hanged for treason and espionage against the Confederates, she returns home to hopefully fall into the arms of her waiting love, Keeley. But Keeley has been left without any memory of Jana, and though she tries to help him recover, months go by and Jana is left alone. She decides that she needs to get some fresh air and heads across New York to try to sort out her life and maybe win women some more rights than they've got. Throughout it all, she deals with death threats, kidnappings, and the threat of a lost love. Train to Glory by Lisa Potocar is a fascinating blend of adventure, romance, and excitement.

Lisa Potocar has a deft mind that easily transitions between larger plot points and individual character interactions that help the story grow into a great piece. Jana is such a lively character that you can't help but root for her to win. You just want everything to turn out okay for her. In addition to the excellent story, the appearance of the book stayed consistently great throughout. The cover of Train to Glory immediately captures the tone and imagery of the novel and gets you in the mood for a lovely historical story.

Overall, Train to Glory is an engaging and enthusiastic historical fiction that's woven together by threads of reality, grit, and truth. Potocar makes you feel for the characters while you're enjoying the ride of the plot. I will definitely be on the lookout for future books from her!