I started reading this a few days ago but read the bulk of it this morning, so I guess I can count this as my first book read in 2016!
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.
You know how some books just hit you with a bang while you are reading them and you can't seem to be able to put them down or let them go after you finish them?
How the book may be filled with sadness that just makes your heartstrings ache and you want to stop reading it but you can't because you just need to finish it? No matter how much your emotions are thrown into a turmoil!
Where you hope and pray that the protagonist finally get's a break and at the very least some light at the end of the tunnel if not a full fledged happy ending?
For me, The Girl From The Train by Irma Joubert was exactly like what I just described! I can't think of a better way to start out a new year than reading a book that I am now adding to my "life time favorite books."
Gretl stole my heart as I walked along with her on her journey of life, family, war, loss, pain, love and so much more. My second favorite character was Jakob. Ms. Joubert did a breathtaking job of bringing Gretl's story to life with realistic characters that jump off the page with a plot that winds through your very heartstrings and won't let you go.
I will leave you with these final words to consider ... The Girl From The Train ... THIS BOOK IS SO WORTH THE READING!
Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.