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The Last Train to London

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  44 reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Exiles conjures her best novel yet, a pre-World War II-era story with the emotional resonance of Orphan Train and All the Light We Cannot See, centering on the Kindertransports that carried thousands of children out of Nazi-occupied Europe—and one brave woman who helped them escape to safety.

In 1936, the Nazi are little mo
ebook, 464 pages
Expected publication: September 10th 2019 by Harper
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4.50  · 
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 ·  68 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Meg Clayton
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I'm so grateful for your interest in The Last Train to London: A Novel, my forthcoming novel based on the true story of the Vienna Kindertransports and the heroic woman who led the rescues. Nightingale author Kristin Hannah calls it “an absolutely fascinating, beautifully rendered story of love, loss, and heroism.” Karen Fowler, author of the PEN/Faulkner winner and Booker finalist We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, calls it “unforgettable" and says, "Recommend this book to anyone who think ...more
Yangsze Choo
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes a novel comes along that feels both rooted in history, yet timelessly pertinent. The Last Train to London is a brilliant and chilling reminder of history’s lessons, told urgently and sympathetically from the viewpoint of the children desperate to flee Hitler's regime, and the women willing to risk all to save them. Meg Waite Clayton's unflinching, evocative prose brings the entwined destinies of Stephan, Žofie-Helene, and Truus to life. The cruelties, large and small, inflicted by the ...more
Gary Parkes
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful and engaging read that is well researched and thoughtfully written. Excellent character development and plotting round out the greatness of this historical fiction read. The author grabs you and doesn't let go and even got me to shed a few tears. Highly recommend.
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A heart-pounding, tear-producing, thought-provoking, heart-breaking page-turner that will leave you asking "what would you have done"? Meg Waite Clayton's story of pre-World War II's Kindertransports will change the way you look at today's refugees and make you wonder if as Americans we could, and should, do better.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read many World War II books and it always amazes me when I am able to learn about someone who was a hero during this time but forgotten over time. Truus Wijsmuller, a member of the Dutch resistance, was a real hero. Through her determination and bravery, she was able to bring over ten thousand children from the German occupied areas of Europe to safety in England. She died in 1978 at 82 years of age.

The book begins in 1936. Germany has gotten stronger and Truus has begun to rescue small nu
Sarah Stone
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I finished The Last Train to London moments ago albeit hiding in the bookstore reading while I worked. I'm not even sure I can put my feelings into words; it was beautiful. Clayton weaves together the stories of many character with ease. The imagery made me feel like I was actually in the underground with Stephan or with Truus on all her journeys saving the children. I think that Clayton exemplified the plight of the children parents sent away to safety; I was nearly moved to tears and I haven't ...more
Megan Chance
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced reader's edition of this novel. Set during the beginning days of the Nazi regime, primarily in Vienna, The Last Train to London is moving and compelling. Moving between several viewpoints, Clayton creates an atmosphere sometimes claustrophobic, sometimes bittersweet, sometimes painful and sometimes thrilling, but always beautiful and detailed and emotional. She plunges you fully into time and place. I could not put it down in the last half. Highly recomm ...more
Tracy Guzeman
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A novel that feels timely in its portrayal of the best and worst of humanity, from astonishing bravery to chilling complicity, The Last Train to London transports the reader first to pre-World War II Vienna in the years before the Anschluss, and then after, when the city becomes a prison for its Jewish residents desperate to escape. It is gritty, beautiful, and impossible to put down.
Sheri Schuttler
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing story and I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to receive an advance copy. So much of what was a historical account of the events leading up to and including the Kindertransport still resonates today and sadly reflects many aspects of our current political situation. Why do we as Americans refuse to learn from our past? Why do we so arrogantly turn our backs on children who are suffering and close our hearts and our borders to those in need? The United States is n ...more
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am really not entirely sure how to review this book. I will tell you that I really really liked it and I am really glad that I was chosen to receive an advance copy.
I had no idea about the kindertransport and I am so very glad that Ms Clayton, through her son through his theater director brought it to light.
We often wonder how such atrocities could occur. We wonder why no one saw the insanity that possessed Hitler and those around him. This story certainly shows just how quickly his prejudic
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wondered if I was ready to read yet another WWII novel, but this one hooked me from the start. I really liked the angle that it is about children and the people smuggling the children out of Austria. There were two teenagers who were well developed, interesting and likeable characters. Stephan, a wealthy Jew, wants to be a playwright. His favorite author is Stefan Zweig. Zofie is a brilliant and somewhat awkward math genius who often has very pithy comments about life. “[Stephan] is only one f ...more
Lizanne Johnson
The other day a friend who asked for a book recommendation said, “Not another Holocaust book.” When I encourage her to read this book, I’ll say, “This is not ANOTHER Holocaust book.”
Based on the real heroine Geertruida Wijsmuller, Tante Truus, and her determination to save as many children as possible from Hitler’s hands, this book begins in December 1936 before WWII began. Tante Truus was helping three Jewish children escape from Germany to the Netherlands.
In Vienna at the same time, Stephan N
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Is it wrong to say that I sometimes feel like Holocaust fiction is overdone? It is obviously an important period that must not be forgotten, but... I guess sometimes it just feels too convenient to use as a dramatic backdrop. 

And yet some books live up the challenge. Last Train focuses on the effort to save Jewish children who were in the path of evil, whose families were so afraid that they placed their children in the hands of strangers in the hope that it meant the children might survive...ev
Dorothy Schwab
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Last Train to London is the story of how one Dutch woman changed the lives of thousands of children in 1938-1939. Geertruida Wijsmuller-Tante Truus, to the children of Vienna- made it her life work to rescue Jewish children, with an effort known as Vienna Kindertransport.
This is an emotional tale of a woman's love for children, her pain at the loss of several of her own and her unending love and dedication to her husband Joop and of course, to the thousands of children she rescued. Tante Tr
Constance Hale
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Meg Waite Clayton’s mastery of plot and pacing announces itself immediately in The Last Train to London, whose compact chapters move quickly among several interwoven stories without ever losing us. This is a book that is almost impossible to put down. But what distinguishes this work of historical fiction is the close-range and complex view Clayton gives of her disparate characters: a hyper-rational math prodigy whose emotions bloom unexpectedly as she becomes a young woman; a budding Jewish wri ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book truly meshes a frightening time in history with a cadre of extremely sympathetic characters who encounter some of histories most evil villains. Clearly the research was extensive and Clayton transports us into the world of the KINDERTRANSPORT, carrying children, Nazi targets, into England for safety.

The center of the story are 2 incredible teenagers, Stephan and Zofie-Helene, who are fortunate enough to travel together to England. Their journey is frightening and suspenseful. We learn
April Lea
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
The heartwrenching story of how one amazing woman saved 10000 children from Nazi occupied countries. It is a amazing book and although it is fiction is based on the real story of Geertruida Wijsmuller aka Tante Truusand and her incredible efforts to save as many children as she could from the horrible life they were handed by Hitler.

I truly enjoyed this book. It is such a heartbreaking look at what many children had to face before and throughout WW2. It will make you sad and emotional. Wishing
Erica Franco
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written, poignant story about one of WWII's little known heroines and the children she rescued. This is an emotional read that sucked me in and made me want to learn more about the real-life characters in the book. The book starts out alternating between stories that eventually converge into one. The chapters are short, which made me want to keep reading "just one more" until it was done before I knew it. I appreciate that there were various strong, influential female characters in ...more
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An unbelievably sad, and accurate novel about the kindertransport in 1938 and 1939. The characters are so vivid, and the prose so thoughtful, but the outcome remains the same. Comparisons to the US role in immigration today cannot be overlooked. I can only hope th outcome is different.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Started slow and has a lot of characters to keep track of, but once I got past the first few chapters (and they're short chapters, which I love)...I was drawn in and had a hard time putting it down.

Marcia Wolf
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book. Although I was tense through most of the book there were also good feelings as brave people helped the children. I highly recommend this book.
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book destroyed me from the inside. Could be the pregnancy hormones combined with the horrors of wwII
kristy ☻
Jun 06, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, giveawaywins
came home from a week at my sister’s to find out i won a copy of this from a giveaway! such an exciting and awesome surprise!!!
Sherry Clark
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to have won an ARC of The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton in a goodreads give away. The cover intrigued me as soon as I received my copy and as soon as I began reading it I was hooked. This was a book that made a lasting impression on me. Meg Waite Clayton's research for this book was impressive. As many books as I have read about the Holocaust and World War II I marvel at how many brave human beings I did not know about and how their heroic acts saved so many from u ...more
Shelly Rena
While this historical fiction is about a little known Kindertransport from Vienna before World War II, it was a very slow read. There were no real villains or climax. I was about to give up many times because of the slowness of the plot line. The author also assumes you know all these names from history which I did not. This was my first Meg Waite Clayton book, and not sure I will read others from her.
I really enjoy reading historical fiction lately and I feel as if the genre has blown-up in 2019. If you loved The Lost Girls of Paris or The Huntress, I would definitely recommend that you consider reading Meg Waite Clayton's The Last Train to London . Based on the true story of Truus Wijsmuller (aka Tante Truus), a member of the Dutch resistance, and her struggle to save innocent Jewish refugee children throughout Europe during the height of the Nazi regime's crimes against humanity Pre-World ...more
Sarah Beth
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advance reader's edition of this novel from Goodreads.

Set in 1936, this novel is based on the story of the Vienna Kindertransports and the woman who fought to save children from the Nazis. Geertruida Wijsmuller was a Dutch Christian who was unable to have children of her own and who was passionate and heroic about risking her life to smuggle children out of Nazi controlled areas. Meanwhile in Vienna, 15 year old Stephan Neuman is the son of a wealthy Jewish family and an aspiring
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed and was caught up in Meg Waite Clayton's latest book, a historical fiction set in pre-WWII Vienna, the Netherlands, and England. It is a taut, emotional book about the Kindertransport program told from a variety of perspectives, including the real life heroine, Truss Wijsmuller. By the last third of the book, I couldn't put it down as I was anxious to find out what would happen to the children, Stephan, Walter, and Zofie-Helene. The book is about love, sacrifice, and people who choose ...more
Donna Hines
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
I can't recall ever having a book that was so in depth and complex in nature and emotions that I had to come back to it several times just to finish. To think it's all based on a true story. Wow!
This book was just such a book capturing the mind, heart, and soul of the reader and good luck trying to finish it without a Kleenex or two.
My word where does one even begin as it's during the time period of the late 30's , a time of horrific terror upon the Jews by Nazis ordered from Hitler to basically
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Meg Waite Clayton is a New York Times bestselling author of the forthcoming THE LAST TRAIN TO LONDON (HarperCollins, Sept 10, 2019), the #1 Amazon fiction bestseller BEAUTIFUL EXILES, the Langum-Prize honored national bestseller THE RACE FOR PARIS -- recommended reading by Glamour Magazine and the BBC, and an Indie Next Booksellers' pick -- and THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS, one of Entertainment Weekly's ...more