The Girl From the Train
by Irma Joubert
As WWII continues, Gretl, a six year old girl and her family are on a train headed for Auschwitz and to the death chambers. Oma pushes her off the train with the plan that the other family members will jump off at intervals. Gretl lands at the bottom of a ravine, alive but scratched up.
Jakob is a proud Polish freedom fighter. He and his crew are going to blow up a German train carrying Nazi troops. The bomb is set and it does explode. But it blows up the wrong train. Gretl’s train was not expected and arrived at the detonation site first. All are lost.
She is alone in a country that hates her people. Out of guilt and compassion Jakob takes her in, never telling her that he’s the reason she no longer has any family. Over the 3 years that he takes care of her, they become the deepest of friends.
The friendship takes a turn when Jakob’s family force him to get rid of her. And so after reading an article about orphans being wanted in South Africa he takes her to an orphanage that eventually helps her land in South Africa where she is adopted by a kind and loving family who adore her instantly.
She loves her new life. Jakob is miserable with his new life, life under communist Russia who has taken over rule in Poland.
This book was the January read for our women’s book club. With all the books in my house in my TBR piles (!) I probably would not have picked this book up to read. There are so many benefits to being in a book club. Books are suggested that I might never have heard of or read before. This one is a true keeper. I loved it immensely. Jakob is my kind of hero, tough but with a heart. I recommend this book to all, even if you aren’t into books that have a military bent.
There is another book out on the market for sale with a very similar name. It is titled The Girl on the Train. I don’t know who it is by and I haven’t read it yet. I can only vouch for how good The Girl From the Train is. This is my G titled book from from A-Z reading list this year. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.