The Girl From the Train
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 intend to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl’s unscheduled train reaches the bomb first.
Gretl is the only survivor. Though spa
** How does Gretl experience a conflicted identity when we meet her in the opening chapters of t…more i found some on-line, then added some of my own ideas:
** How does Gretl experience a conflicted identity when we meet her in the opening chapters of the novel, and how does this conflict of identity resolve throughout the course of the story?
**How might the story have been different if her sister had also survived?
**What would Gretl's thoughts be on Catholicism and Protestantism, how do you think this played a roll in the book?
**How does Jakób’s own journey mirror Gretl’s, and in what way are their journeys different? Do you think she would have sought him out if he had not found her?
**What did you learn about the political situation in WWII and post-WWII Poland/South Africa that you didn’t know before reading this book? What do you think about the orphans being sent out to South Africa?
**How did Jacob's values shape the story and his involvement in politics?
**Discuss the role of Grandpa John in the story. How does he serve as a bridge for Grietjie between her past history and her present life? Why is their relationship unique and special?
**Would Grietjie ever have told her family about her past if it not for Jacob?
**Does Grietjie actually end up marrying Jakob or is she making up a happy ending to her miserable story as it is implied when she talks about writing a book about her story to Karin?
**How did the weather help to set the scene of each part of the story?(less) (hide spoiler)]
Hold on to your seat, friends! This heartfelt coming-of-age story sweeps through several years and settings. The journey is long, but worth it. My heart was instantly ch ...more
First, the love story or romance was quite predicatable. You could see it coming a mile away.
Second, religion was such a strong theme in the book-but it quite jumbled. The main character is thrown from a train by her loving Jewish grandmother in an attempt to save her from an unkown future. She is later adopted by a extremely devout Protestant South Afri ...more
A riveting WW2 story that follows a young girl's life from the moment her mother and grandmother push her off an Auschwitz-bound train into the Polish countryside in order to save her life. The detail is wonderfully memorable and the story absorbing (though at times disturbing). The story of Gretl/Gretchen/Grietje (names depending on her country) is so deep a tale, and I loved Jacob's parts as well (except for the cursing parts from the war scenes).
One thing that shocked me was that So ...more
The issue I had was with the plot and the writing. There is no doubt t ...more
I absolutely loved this book! One of the best books I've read this year. Will definitely be on my top 12 for 2015! It was about the Jews and WW2 and it mentions Auschwitz, but it wasn't about that at all. It was about a little girl who was on her way to Auschwitz but fled from the train at six years old and was found by a Polish boy/man of 19 years old. He takes her to his family farm where she lives for three years, but they can't keep her for any longer. His real family is growing and ...more
There is a great deal of history woven into this novel; history of WWII, Poland and Africa specifically. I was drawn to turn the pages ...more
“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 peo ...more
One of the highlights of the book is being told the story from Gretl Schmidt’s perspective. She is only six years old when the story starts and already she has experienced some horrible th ...more
Very, very, very well-written.
I could not stop reading. I was completely absorbed by it.
I loved where and when the story was set and the complexity of the characters and their culture. Everthing was so real! I could relate easily!
I saw a whole new perspective of World War II. It was exciting to learn Poland’s viewpoint in that mess and how some countries react to one another at that time.
Russia, Germany ...more
Also, the romance and beliefs spread throughout it all really frustrated me and I didn't agree with most of it. So that was sad. I had been so looking forward to the book!
I did en ...more
Irma Joubert delivers a moving and compelling WWII exploration, infused with history --THE GIRL FROM THE TRAIN. A stunning well-researched, coming-of-age tale; reiterating how the human spirit can triumph over the ravages of war.
A strong bond of love, hope, and enduring courage-- withstand obstacles, time and place.
Beautifully written, a tale of a young Jewish girl bound for Auschwitz, encountering J ...more
The history involved in this story was my favorite part. I had no clue German orphans were sent to South Africa after the war (and the requirements they wanted). For having studied WWII, I felt like a major fake studen ...more
I thought that the path her life took ...more
I wanted to cry like the whole second half
Her story was amazing and agh
I couldn't believe the end where she feel in love and gahhhh I'm not even making sense.
It was beautiful and the rest of the day I'll be floating around like a ghost doing nothing
But the writing was so beautiful and I used the last hour for reading instead of science but whatever
Now lemme go cry.
An endearing bond grows between those two characters. After an uprising in Warsaw ...more
On a train bound for Aushwitz, little Gretl Scgnudt and her sister are steered by their mother to jump from the train in the darkness of night. Jakob Kowalski is part of a resistance who are setting up to blow up and destroy a German troop transport train, only there is an unscheduled train bound for Aushwitz.
The bridge is blown up and the trains falls and bursts into flames. At the time, Gretl has no idea that the remainder of her family are dead, with the exception of ...more
Even with a Master's in European history, I learned a lot about a topic I'd never encountered before—post-war German orphans in apartheid South Africa. Who knew? The kind of story and characters which will linger in your mind long after you read the last page. ...more
|Shut Up & Read: The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert||16||6||Nov 26, 2020 06:46PM|
|Goodreads Librari...: please add book cover for ebook||2||15||Mar 05, 2019 07:26PM|
|Goodreads Librari...: ebook missing cover art: The Girl from the Train||2||10||Jan 15, 2019 11:43PM|
|Translation from Afrikaans to English for Joubert's books||1||7||Dec 16, 2017 07:54AM|
|Christian Fiction...: November Book of the Month - The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert||55||66||Dec 02, 2016 06:18AM|
|20s/30s Fort Myer...: BOOK CLUB MEETING DEC 4||2||22||Nov 05, 2016 03:13PM|