Tag Archives: #BookReview: The Girl from the Train

#BookReview: The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert

3 Nov

The Girl from the Train

The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert


Spanning several years and multiple countries, The Girl From the Train shares an emotional journey! Uniquely told from the perspective of a young girl, this compelling story is steeped in historical details and boasts wonderful characterization.

Meeting Gretl Schmidt, my heart ached for her and all she endured over the course of her young life. As Jakób Kowalski became Gretl’s protector, I reveled in the bond of love they shared. Theirs is a well-told and richly layered tale of triumph through tragedy.

The Girl From the Train is a beautiful story and a highly recommended read for fans of historical fiction!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.


The Girl from the Train quote (1)


Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Auschwitz. 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 mean 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 home. 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.

Purchase links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble