«The Girl from the Train» by Irma Joubert
Genre: historical fiction, World War II
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Jakób was forced to take care of little 6-year-old Gretl after the bomb he planted for a German troop reached her train first.
He kept the child for about 4 years and then he sent her to South Africa when he couldn’t help her anymore.
A protestant family took her and Gretl promised to Jakób she would not ever reveal her Jewish roots and Catholic education.
Could that work out for her at the end? Will she see Jakób again?
FIRST HALF OF THE NOVEL
Amazing! I was ready to give 5 stars by the time I reached chapter 4.
Very, very, very well-written.
I could not stop reading. I was completely absorbed by it.
I loved where and when the story was set and the complexity of the characters and their culture. Everthing was so real! I could relate easily!
I saw a whole new perspective of World War II. It was exciting to learn Poland’s viewpoint in that mess and how some countries react to one another at that time.
Russia, Germany, USA, Britain, South Africa.
Awesome! Awesome! I enjoyed it very much!
Jakób and Gretl relationship was so moving at first. I loved them both from the start.
At one point I was not so sure where the story was heading to, but then it all became so clear.
It surprised me that you don’t really see the author in the story. You only see the characters and what they’re doing, but she doesn’t tell you what to think. You decide.
SECOND HALF: MIXED FEELINGS
I mean, I liked it but it was different. It got all about romance and, in the process, I think it lost part of its essence.
I don’t agree with some decisions characters made along the way. I’m not even sure if the author agrees with them either.
At the end, I ended up with some questions:
What was the point the book tried to prove? Love overcomes it all?
Is it truly a christian novel?
If it is, shouldn’t the faith issue have weighted more for Jakób and Gretl?
It is a great book to discuss, no doubt!
**I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own**
– «You can’t go through life without books». Yeah, I agree. It’s dangerous!
– «Jakób, the man I love. You’re the core that remains after all else has burned away». That we can say about God!
– «Honesty is the most important quality anyone can have». Definitely!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Irma Joubert’s stories are about real people. They focus on the relationships among family members, friends and strangers.
She’s married to Jan who, after thirty-seven years of marriage, still finds her gorgeous. They have three sons, a daughter-in-law and a foster daughter.