Release Date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
The Girl from the Train was originally published in Afrikaans in South Africa, where it became a bestseller, before traveling to the Netherlands, where it also became a bestseller. Now it has it has been translated and many more readers will have the opportunity to enjoy this story.
This is the life story of Gretl Schmidt. When we first meet her she is six years old as she squeezes through the bars of a train car on its way to Auschwitz. Eventually, we meet Jakób Kawalski, a member of the Polish resistance, whose troop mean to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl’s unscheduled train reaches the bomb first.Though she is spared from the concentration camps, Gretl, an orphaned German Jew, finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people. When Jakób discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion cause him to take her home.
Eventually, it gets to the point where Jakób can no longer keep her and sends her 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.
That is only the gist of the story because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Therefore, I encourage you to read the book for yourself. Irma Joubert’s research shines through and I enjoyed learning about the history during and after World War II. It is a captivating coming of age story and a search for identity and belonging. It is definitely worth reading.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Pre-order your copy here.
About Irma Joubert
International bestselling author Irma Joubert was a history teacher for 35 years before she began writing. Her stories are known for their deep insight into personal relationships and rich historical detail. She’s the author of eight novels and a regular fixture on bestseller lists in The Netherlands and in her native South Africa, but this will be her first novel published in English. She is the winner of the 2010 ATKV Prize for Romance Novels.