Review: The People on Platform 5 by Clare Pooley


Title: The People on Platform 5

Author: Clare Pooley

Published: 26th May 2022, Bantam Press UK

Status: Read June 2022 courtesy Bantam Press UK/Netgalley


My Thoughts:


“Until the point when a man started dying right in front of her on the 08:05, Iona’s day had been just like any other.”

The People on Platform 5 (also published as Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuters) is a delightful, and ultimately uplifting novel from Clare Pooley.

Magazine advice columnist, Iona Iverson occasionally passes the time on her daily commute to London speculating about the strangers with whom she, and her bulldog Lulu,  regularly shares a carriage, but is content to abide by one of the unwritten rules for commuting that states anything more than an occasional shared eye-roll, is taboo. Had one of her fellow commuters not choked on a grape, and another leapt to save him, it’s likely Iona would never had spoken with Piers, Emmie, Sanjay, David or Martha, and remained nothing but an eccentric stranger to them.

The importance of connection and community are the main themes of The People on Platform 5, as the six strangers, who share little other than a train carriage on their daily commute, gradually form an unexpected and enviable friendship that provides each with both emotional and practical support. Though Iona, a colourful and very likeable woman, is the nexus of the story, the author develops the other characters well, and I enjoyed their dynamic as it developed.

The eclectic group, who have varied personal histories, also allows Pooley to explore a number of topical issues including ageism, unemployment, grief, stress, domestic violence, and bullying. I think this gives the story wide appeal as something here is likely to resonate with the readers own experience.

Told with humour and heart, The People on Platform 5 is an engaging story that reminds us of what we have to gain when we reach out to strangers and make new friends.



Available from Bantam Press UK

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  2. Naila Moon aka M. M. Hudson
    Aug 02, 2022 @ 07:05:16

    This looks like a good one to read . Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. WendyW
    Aug 02, 2022 @ 11:07:15

    Nice review, I’ve heard great things about this book.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Helen Murdoch
    Aug 05, 2022 @ 08:33:28

    This makes me think of the “old” men I’ve befriended at my local YMCA weight room. We work out together, now chat about our lives, and have even gone out to breakfast a few times!

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Mareli Thalwitzer
    Aug 06, 2022 @ 02:56:54

    This book landed in our Book Club this month, can’t wait to read it. Especially after your lovely and positive review!

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Liz Dexter
    Aug 06, 2022 @ 06:29:50

    I really liked this one, I read it a few months ago. I loved the variety of the characters and the issues the book covered.

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Jinjer
    Aug 15, 2022 @ 03:19:36

    This sounds really good! Adding it!

    Liked by 1 person


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