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Informative,
Insightful,
Inspiring

6 reviews

The Girl From the Train
by Irma Joubert

Published: 2015-11-03
Paperback : 384 pages
6 members reading this now
16 clubs reading this now
1 member has read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 6 of 6 members

Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Aushwitz. Jakób Kowalski is planting a bomb on the tracks.

As World War II draws to a close, Jakób fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia. They intend to destroy a German troop transport, but ...

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Introduction

Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Aushwitz. Jakób Kowalski is planting a bomb on the tracks.

As World War II draws to a close, Jakób fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia. They intend to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl’s unscheduled train reaches the bomb first.

Gretl is the only survivor. Though spared from the concentration camp, the orphaned German Jew finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people. When Jakób discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion prompt him to take her in. For three years, the young man and little girl form a bond over the secrets they must hide from his Catholic family.

But she can’t stay with him forever. Jakób sends Gretl to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant families—so long as Gretl’s Jewish roots, Catholic education, and connections to communist Poland are never discovered.

Separated by continents, politics, religion, language, and years, Jakób and Gretl will likely never see each other again. But the events they have both survived and their belief that the human spirit can triumph over the ravages of war have formed a bond of love that no circumstances can overcome.

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by xrd57810 (see profile) 07/31/18

 
  "Bookclub members loved"by [email protected] (see profile) 02/20/17

The bookclub members all enjoyed this read. Even though the setting is somber and historically a horrific time the author speaks about human kindness through her characters.

 
by mstrunck (see profile) 08/31/16

 
by janetwb (see profile) 08/29/16

 
  "Good read"by book-junkie (see profile) 08/05/16

Our bookclub enjoyed reading about this time in history and finding out especially about the orphans who went to Africa.

 
by jsvincent (see profile) 06/25/16

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