In 1958, 19-year-old Kat Caswell loses her best friend in a brutal accident. In an attempt to flee from her past, she hops a freight train, leaving rural Indiana behind. Kat soon discovers that the extreme danger of train jumping is a welcome distraction from her pain.
While aboard the grand Southern Belle Railway, she meets Hilda, an eccentric, larger-than-life woman who offers her employment at a gentlemen’s club in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Kat quickly adapts to the exotic atmosphere of the Vieux Carre. During her stay in New Orleans, Kat forms a close bond with a charming young immigrant worker named Leni, who has a mischievous personality and a mysterious past.
Each girl thrives in the lively environment full of colorful patrons. But when immigration comes to take Leni into custody, their lives become inextricably linked as Kat attempts to protect her friend. Once again, the railway becomes an escape route leading them on a journey of survival that requires life-changing choices.
Gwen Banta’s The Train Jumper is “edge of your seat” with thrilling moments—a grand adventure full of laughter and pathos. The lives of the characters are woven together by railroads and the exotic places the rails connect, eventually leading Kat and Leni to their individual destinies.
©2021 Gwen Banta (P)2023 Gwen Banta