Friday, February 5, 2016

Book Review: The Girl From The Train by Irma Joubert

I Corinthians 13:4-8(NIV)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Book Description:

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.

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.

My Personal Review:

The Girl From The Train by Irma Joubert is a fabulous historical fiction book! I was drawn into the drama and suspense from the first few pages. 

The Girl From The Train by Irma Joubert is unique in that it focuses on the time period just after World War II and the turmoil felt by entire countries, especially Poland. The story is built around the main character, a young Jewish German girl named Gretl Schmidt, who becomes orphaned as a direct result of the war. Circumstances leave the child stranded in Poland, homeless and starving. 

The details of her rescue by a Polish resistance fighter and the behind the scenes look at life in a post war torn country serve as the foundation for the story. The young child's eventual move to South Africa and placement in a new home continue the thread of determination, commitment, survival, conflict and love that form the structure of the novel. Of course, discovering that the author, Irma Joubert is a native of South Africa where she taught history for 35 years, gives credibility to this book and helps to make it feel even more authentic, despite it's fictional genre.

This book enlightened and informed me as it relates to Poland and the country's internal struggle to maintain their own identity in the years following WWII. I am not a historian and actually was not too attentive during my history classes in school, but this narrative spurred a desire to learn more about the period after WWII and the ripple effect it had on the people in various countries. 

The consistent attention to detail and the element of mystery right down to the final chapters of The Girl From The Train  by Irma Joubert is what sets this work apart from your average read. The author is able to take the reader into the scenes with her descriptive writing. The Biblical factor in this book was unmistakable. The need to rely on God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ was communicated softly without seeming too overbearing. The collision of different cultures, past experiences (both good and bad), age, environment, professional choices and religion each seem to come out unscathed when love is applied. This is not your average "love story" fact it is a tale of what real love...the love of I Corinthians 13... put into action should look like. Enjoy!

Thank you to Thomas Nelson a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing Inc for this review copy of The Girl From The Train by Irma Joubert through the BookLook Bloggers program. I was not required to write a favorable review, but only to read this book in it's entirety in exchange for my honest opinion.

No comments:

Post a Comment