Levon Hawke is a kind, gentle fellow who has been in prison for a hap and almost comical misunderstanding. The first thing he does upon being paroled is head to his old friend Sweeney’s diner. There Hawke considers his cousin Simon Tibeault’s job offer to work in his bakery on a small nearby island with a suspect history. Lulled by Sweeney’s stories and the comfort of the diner, Hawke misses the only ferry. But, provisioned with doughnuts and Sweeney’s map, he sets out anyway across the frozen part of the lake, alone and in failing light. A ruined house, deep in a dark forest, is the first thing he sees after stumbling ashore on the wrong end of the island. It is the glimmer of light beneath the door that brings him closer. Behind the door, he meets tall, redheaded Obdulia Limb, grieving for her mother, ten years dead. Drawn in by Obdulia’s overbearing father and her octogenarian femme fatale of a stepmother, Hawke tries to resist their scheme to involve him in a comic yet gruesome conspiracy to cure Obdulia of her grief. But love has other plans for him. Packed with magic, comic misunderstandings, and metaphorical brilliance, Down There by the Train is a witty and wistful gothic romance by a writer of exceptional talent.