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The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert
When 6-year-old Gretl jumps from a train bound for Auschwitz, her mother and grandmother are unable to follow her. She endures a long, desperate journey results. Eventually, she's able to find refuge with Jakob, a Polish freedom fighter. The world is changing in such radical ways. Will she ever know hope or love again?
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.25 (inches)|
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 Gretls 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 cant stay with him forever. Jakób sends Gretl to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant familiesso long as Gretls 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.
'Readers will adore intrepid Gretl and strong Jakób in this story of war, redemption, and love.
Joubert reminds readers how love triumphed over the difficulties faced by WWII survivors as they navigated new boundaries, revised politics, and the old faith prejudices that defined post-war Europe.
ColeenCentral CaliforniaAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5ExcellentSeptember 13, 2016ColeenCentral CaliforniaAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Absolutely fantastic book! My husband enjoys me reading while we're driving. We could hardly wait to get in the car and continue with the story.
J KayAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent!July 7, 2016J KayAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This was an excellent book. I didn' want to put ot down. A definite reread!
JaniceEdmonton, AlbertaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent readMay 18, 2016JaniceEdmonton, AlbertaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Loved this book! I admit, I love WWII genre but this is a story of war, tragedy and love as seen through the eyes of a child. This is one of those books you don't want to put down!
Britt98Grand Prairie, TXAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Compelling!March 8, 2016Britt98Grand Prairie, TXAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I have to admit that I was nervous about reading this book. I received it for review and heard great things about it, but from the back cover description, I did not think that I would like this story. I was very wrong! I was also sure that this would be a very sad tale. I was wrong again! Now, it does have sad moments and horrible things that occur. But this is primarily a glance into the life of a little girl who makes it through extraordinary circumstances.
I thought that the path her life took was very interesting. It was eye opening to see how some people treated her so badly, while others, such as Jakob, cared about her. I loved seeing how Gretl thrived and persevered regardless of the situation. She was a very smart girl.
I was especially interested in learning so much about both the Polish culture and the South African culture. The author did such a good job of making it captivating to learn specific things about these various people and places that had such an impact on Gretl. There was a gentle romance that really made the last quarter of the story very good.
I am glad to have been happily surprised by The Girl From the Train.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The~Wiser~Way5 Stars Out Of 5This is a fabulous historical fiction read!February 5, 2016The~Wiser~WayQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Girl From The Train by Irma Joubert is a fabulous historical fiction book! I was drawn into the drama and suspense from the first few pages.
The Girl From The Train by Irma Joubert is unique in that it focuses on the time period just after World War II and the turmoil felt by entire countries, especially Poland. The story is built around the main character, a young Jewish German girl named Gretl Schmidt, who becomes orphaned as a direct result of the war. Circumstances leave the child stranded in Poland, homeless and starving.
The details of her rescue by a Polish resistance fighter and the behind the scenes look at life in a post war torn country serve as the foundation for the story. The young child's eventual move to South Africa and placement in a new home continue the thread of determination, commitment, survival, conflict and love that form the structure of the novel. Of course, discovering that the author, Irma Joubert is a native of South Africa where she taught history for 35 years, gives credibility to this book and helps to make it feel even more authentic, despite it's fictional genre.
This book enlightened and informed me as it relates to Poland and the country's internal struggle to maintain their own identity in the years following WWII. I am not a historian and actually was not too attentive during my history classes in school, but this narrative spurred a desire to learn more about the period after WWII and the ripple effect it had on the people in various countries.
The consistent attention to detail and the element of mystery right down to the final chapters of The Girl From The Train by Irma Joubert is what sets this work apart from your average read. The author is able to take the reader into the scenes with her descriptive writing. The Biblical factor in this book was unmistakable. The need to rely on God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ was communicated softly without seeming too overbearing. The collision of different cultures, past experiences (both good and bad), age, environment, professional choices and religion each seem to come out unscathed when love is applied. This is not your average "love story"...in fact it is a tale of what real love...the love of I Corinthians 13... put into action should look like. Enjoy!
Thank you to Thomas Nelson a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing Inc for this review copy of The Girl From The Train by Irma Joubert through the BookLook Bloggers program. I was not required to write a favorable review, but only to read this book in it's entirety in exchange for my honest opinion.