Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Review: The Girl from the Train by:Irma Joubert

The Girl from the Train
About the Book:
Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Auschwitz. 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 mean 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 home. 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. 

My Review:
 Gretl Schmidt is six years old and is on the run from the Gespo. Being a German Jew she doesn’t really have any allies. The Polish despise Germans and the Germans despise Jews. So with her family having no where to turn to, do the fact they are on a train to Auschwitz, they decide to sneak Gretl and her sister Elza off.

Jakòb Kowalski fights along with other Polish men to rid the Germans from their country. Planting a bomb on the train tracks for a coming German Troop transport seemed like a reasonable idea. That is until he takes little Gretl in. With her mom and grandmother killed on the train he helped destroy and her sister dying from a fever, she is all alone with no one wanting to take in neither a German nor Jew. So Jakòb decides to keep the little girl by his side.

Three years later, Gretl looks more and more like a German everyday and Jakòb is worried for her safety. With no where else to turn, Jakòb must send dear little Gretl to an orphanage in South Africa. Where maybe just maybe a nice Protestant family will wish to adopt her.

The Girl From The Train is a wonderful book about love and endurance. I enjoyed how this book was full adventure and kept you sucked in. This author has become one of my favorites and I’ll be sure to keep my eyes out for more of her books.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Book Look.