Friday, December 4, 2015

The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert

"A sweeping international love story that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit over the inhumanities of war and prejudice.
Six-year-old Gretl and her sister jump from a train bound for Auschwitz, her mother and grandmother unable to squeeze between the bars covering the windows. The daughter of a German soldier, Gretl understands very little about how her grandmother's Jewishness brought her first to the ghetto, then to the train, and now, to the Polish countryside where she wanders, searching for food and water for her dying sister.
Soon, Gretl finds refuge with Jakob, a Polish freedom fighter, and his family, where she is sheltered until the end of the war. Gretl is then sent away to a new life, a new name, and a new faith in Apartheid-era South Africa. As she comes of age in this strange place, she confronts its prejudices as she hides the truth of her past from her new family.
When Jakob makes his way to South Africa many years later, Gretl and Jakob are reunited in a love story that transcends time and distance and survives the ravages of hatred and war."

This story spans 15 tragic and heartbreaking years during and after World War 2.
6 year old Gretl and her older sister Elza are made to jump from a train bound for Aushwitz by their grandmother who hopes to save them from the horrors of the concentration camp. Just after they get off, the train is ripped to pieces by bombs. Gretl and Zelda are now utterly alone in the world. Orphaned, thirsty, starving, and alone. They are discovered by Jakob who takes them home, but there is very little room for them and Zelda is terribly sick.
As a fan of historical fiction I will say that this is a must read for any other fan. The sheer bravery and strength of character that Gretl shows in the face of suffering such tragic loss in such brutal times had me cheering her on every step of the way.

I received a complimentary copy for review

About the Author
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. She is the winner of the 2010 ATKV Prize for Romance Novels. Facebook: irmajoubertpage

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