Outbound Train

(6 reviews) Write a Review
Adding to cart… The item has been added

Product Overview

In 1976, memories from a night near the railroad tracks sixteen years earlier haunt Barbara Parker. She wrestles with past demons every night, then wakes to the train’s five-thirty whistle. Exhausted and dreading the day, she keeps her hands busy working in Bryson City’s textile plant, known as the “blue jean plant,” all the while worrying about her teenage daughter, Carole Anne. The whistle of the train, the hum of those machines, and the struggle to survive drives Barbara. When an unexpected layoff creates a financial emergency, the desperate pressure of poverty is overwhelming.

Unbeknownst to Barbara, Carole Anne sneaks out at night to walk the tracks so she can work at Hubert’s Bar. She’s hoarding money with plans to drive her mother’s rusty, unused Oldsmobile out of Bryson City, and never return. She only needs one opportunity … if she can just find it.

When Carole Anne goes missing, Barbara finds herself at a crossroad—she must put aside old memories and past hurts to rely on a classmate for help finding her daughter. But this is the same man she blames for the incident years ago. Is she strong enough—or desperate enough—to do anything to keep her daughter safe?

In Outbound Train, the Parker women struggle to make frayed ends meet in a town where they never quite do … at least, not without expert weaving and a bit of brute force.



(6 reviews) Write a Review

6 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Outbound Train by Renea Winchester

    Posted by Patricia Johnson on Apr 17th 2020

    As soon as Outbound Train by Renea Winchester arrived at my door, I began reading it and didn't put it down until it was finished. Being from a small textile town in North Carolina myself helped draw me into the lives of three generations of strong Parker women. Prejudice and self-blame showed up all through the book, yet strength of character of Carole Anne, Barbara and Granny Pearlene pulled them through. Just as the far-away whistle of the train and the rumble of the tracks gave warning of something coming, so did each page of this story. Yet hope prevailed at the end.

  • 5
    Real life

    Posted by Lisa on Apr 6th 2020

    Outbound Train grabs you from the beginning and never lets go. You feel the pain and fear of the characters and desperately want them to succeed. The author has truly captured a part of the hard life of many who lived in an Appalachian town.

  • 5

    Posted by Roy on Feb 21st 2020

    The novel Outbound Train touches many of the components of the current topic of Adverse Childhood Experiences and the effort now by many in Bryson City to break the inter-generational cycle. If you consider yourself “the black sheep of the family” then reading this novel will show you a different perspective. It is hard to close the book once you start reading and growing up in Bryson City it was fun to review the mental snapshots my memory revealed from a different time. Roy Burnette Owner of WBHN Radio

  • 5
    Reviewing: Outbound Train

    Posted by Mandy Haynes: Song & Story Bookstore on Feb 8th 2020

    Renea Winchester wastes no time in taking you straight into young Barbara Parker's life. Right from the get go, you're invested and you know you're in for ride. When she introduces Carole Ann you already love her - Renea has seen to that. She set this novel up so the reader isn't sitting on the outside, passing judgment - the reader is there in Bryson City - waking up with the train's whistle to hustle to the factory to start another shift at the sewing machine. Shopping at Piggly Wiggly and walking to school with a dented Holly Hobby lunchbox, aware that you are treated differently solely because you live on the other side of the tracks. You are THERE. This novel, like life, is full of surprises, heart break, hope, and laughter. Renea reminds us that there are angels everywhere. By the time you've finished, you will know the characters for who they are, not where they're from. Hopefully you'll carry that with you.

  • 5
    Review of Outbound Train by Renea Winchester

    Posted by Tomi Wiley James on Feb 8th 2020

    It’s often difficult to capture the true Southern voice and culture, but Renea Winchester does so beautifully and without pretense. A natural storyteller, Winchester’s characters are layered and true, the small town of Bryson City, NC, coming to life in all its gritty, realistic charm - I could almost feel the train rumbling beneath me and could nearly hear the hum of sewing machines in Cleveland Manufacturing. Barbara and Carole Anne’s stories weave together like two creeks into one, but with very different destinations. If you want a true Appalachian voice, this book is for you

  • 5
    Outbound Train

    Posted by Angie Kinsey on Feb 5th 2020

    Renea Winchester weaves an authentic story of hard work, dedication, and family ties. Beckoning back to a time when seamstresses we're in high demand, the reader can smell the cotton, the oil from the sewing machines, and imagine the loose threads in their hair. Feeling like an outcast and scheming to escape her small town of Bryson City, the main character, Carol, tugs on loose threads from her mother's past. Will her mother remain stoic? Or will she speak her truth and set her daughter free?