The People at Platform 5 by Clare Pooley

Thank you to Transworld Publishers for the opportunity to read a digital copy of Clare Pooley’s new novel, The People on Platform 5. I loved reading The Authenticity Project back in 2020 (see my review at and I’m sharing a mini review of her new book today. The People on Platform 5 will be published on Thursday 26th May 2022.


Nobody speaks to strangers on the train. But what would happen if they did?

Every day at 8:05, Iona Iverson boards the train to go to work. Every day, she sees the same people and makes assumptions about them, even giving them nicknames. But they never speak. Obviously.

Then, one morning, Smart-but-Sexist-Surbiton chokes on a grape right in front of Iona. Suspiciously-Nice-New Malden steps up to help and saves his life, and this one event sparks a chain reaction.

With nothing in common but their commute, an eclectic group of people learn that their assumptions about each other don’t match reality. But when Iona’s life begins to fall apart, will her new friends be there when she needs them most?

My thoughts:

I’m pleased to confirm that this was another five star read for me. Iona is a fabulous character, and I loved how the ‘choking on a grape’ incident started a ripple effect through the regular train passengers, who started to chat to Iona – the ‘eccentric lady’ with Lulu the dog and a never ending supply of goodies in her large handbag.

The new ‘friends’ vary widely in ages and stages of life, but begin to form a community, helping each other with difficulties in their lives. There are sad moments, funny moments and some LOL moments too. I’ve been trying to decide who my favourite characters but I can’t pick just one – I enjoyed meeting all of them.

I’m happy to recommend this book to readers of my book review blog. If you enjoyed The Authenticity Project, don’t miss this book.

Author Bio:

Clare Pooley graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge and spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising before becoming a full-time writer.

Clare’s memoir – The Sober Diaries – has helped thousands of people worldwide to quit drinking.

Clare’s first novel – The Authenticity Project – was a BBC Radio 2 Bookclub pick, a New York Times Bestseller and the winner of the RNA debut novel award. It has been translated into 29 languages. Her second novel is coming Spring 2022.

Clare lives in Fulham, London with her long-suffering husband, three children and two dogs.

You can find Clare at or on social media – Twitter @cpooleywriter and Instagram @clare_pooley

By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum of teenagers. Adopter of dogs.

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