The Girl from the Train Author: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... more » 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.« less
Not to be confused with a very popular novel with a similar title, this powerful story includes one world war, two continents, and at least three languages. It follows the tumultuous childhood of a young girl whose life includes love, loss, and joy from a very early age. I am very glad I read this book and appreciated the Polish history facts I learned along the way.
This is not your typical Christian fiction novel - it is the author's first book to be translated from her native Afrikaans to English. In some places, the translation results in choppy sentences and unique word choices, but that didn't distract me as much as my inability to pronounce some names and terms.