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The Last Train to London

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  176 ratings  ·  112 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
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Harper
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4.38  · 
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 ·  176 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is based on the organization and implementation of the real Vienna Kindertransport that was led by Geertruida Wijsmuller. This fictional story occurs prior to 1940, and primarily happens during 1938.

We see a Dutch couple, Truus (Geertruida) and her husband Joop Wijsmuller, who are childless. Truus is a brave and outspoken woman who risks her life countless time to seek refuge for helpless children. We also see the rich Jewish family of Stephan, who is stripped of everything once th
Meg Clayton
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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
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
Yangsze Choo
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Haunting, heartwrenching, and heroic!

The Last Train to London is a compelling, emotional interpretation of the life of Geertruida Wijsmuller, a Dutch Christian who as part of the Kindertransport rescue efforts helped transport close to 10,000 predominantly Jewish children out of Nazi-occupied European cities to the UK for safety just prior to the breakout of WWII.

The prose is tense and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, innocent, and courageous. And the plot, set in Austria during the la
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
I'm here to help you were the words the children longed to hear and words they trusted belonged to Tante Truus who is an actual woman named Truus Wijsmuller-Meijer.

THE LAST TRAIN TO LONDON focuses on saving Jewish children by this woman who is said to have saved 10,000 children.

We meet many characters that are frightened because of what is going on in Germany and the rest of Europe as well as meeting the frightened children.

The reader sees what is happening in the daily lives of the European peo
Therese Fowler
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Last Train to London is a rare thing: intellectually provocative and emotionally moving in equal measure. What a fine tribute to the victims and survivors of the Nazis' early terrors, and to the woman who at great personal risk and sacrifice subverted Hitler's will. Everyone should read this timely, gorgeous book."
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Austria pre-World War II, a 16 year old Jewish boy, Stephan, is expected to someday take over his father's thriving chocolate business but instead longs to be a playwright. He also has a huge crush on 15 year old Žofie-Helene, a Christian girl who is the daughter of an outspoken, female newspaper editor. When the Nazis invade, both families find themselves in a perilous position.

Meanwhile, a courageous Dutchwoman named Truus Wijsmuller, has made it her life's mission to help Jewish children
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So, now that I have finally been able to pull myself together and stop my incessant weeping (3 hours after finishing it) I will attempt to put the power of this novel into words (which is an impossible task).

What an absolute beautiful, gut-wrenching, read this was. Everyone should read this book. It’s based on the real Vienna Kindertransport system that was set up in the pre-WWII years to get children—most of which were Jewish, but also kids of political prisoners & subversives of the Nazi
Bren McClain
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the best of books, a character makes me want to be better than I am. This is exactly how Meg Waite Clayton's heroine, Truus Wijsmuller, affected me. Through her unbridled bravery, she rescued over ten thousand children from German oppression, brought them to safety in England. But this book goes further in its value for me. Although set in the 1930s, this story has immense relevance and lessons for today. Well-researched. Brilliantly written. Timeless.

Note: I "won" this book as part of a Goo
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written historical fiction novel taking place in the 1930’s in Austria. Stephan is from a family of successful chocolatiers. As the Nazis took over Austria, Stephan’s family loses everything; because they are Jews, they are given few choices. Zofie-Helene, Stephan’s friend, is also in danger as her mother is a journalist revealing the truth about Eichmann and his henchmen. A truly emotional story, brought to life through brave and vulnerable characters. Highly recommend.
Davida Chazan
4.75/5 to be precise! Author Meg Waite Clayton’s newest novel is a biographical, historical, women’s fiction novel about Geertruida Wijsmuller, aka “Tante Truus” who was instrumental in getting thousands of children out of Nazi Germany via the Kindertansport. This powerful and important novel was just released and I hope you’ll read my #bookreview of it on my blog now.
Miss W Book Reviews
I love Historical Fiction, especially WWII ERA. This novel is one of the best historical fiction pieces I have read.
The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton is based on the true story of Truus Wijsmulle who affected change by helping smuggle thousands of Jewish children from Germany and Austria in WWII.

The research that went into this novel is very apparent to this reader. The characters that were crafted were complex and complicated yet innocent and determined at the same time.

My heart
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm so grateful to have won an advance copy of this novel, and will surely be loaning it to my friends to read as well. As other reviewers have written, there are a lot of WWII and Holocaust novels being published in the last year or so, but I feel that this is one of the best and most important, both in story telling and as a reminder to the world that the children MUST be cared for and protected and above all, loved, for without them, there is no future. They will move ahead and tell what they ...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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most important novels of the Holocaust I have read. The last 100 pages were a runaway train, for sure. Compelling and brilliant.
Tracy Guzeman
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Betty Hutchinson
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Betty by: GoodReads
Wow, what a book! This book is one that I won in a giveaway and I am thankful for being blessed to own it.
The story is based on true events surrounding the Kindertransport which brought thousands of children, mostly Jewish, out of Europe when Germany began taking over just before WWII began. The story is mainly set in Vienna, centering around two families, the Neumans and Pergers, and a woman, Truus Wijsmuller-Meijer and her husband Joop who lived in Amsterdam. The book is written from the persp
Shelly Rena
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
Lloyd Russell
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think most of us have read our share of historical fiction. And a lot of it centers on WWII. Well, Meg Waite Clayton's The Last Train to London is certainly in that category. But that's where the similarities end. First of all, the story does not take place in France or Germany. It mostly happens in Austria. Second, the story starts in 1936 and ends in 1940. Most historical fiction runs during the war itself. Third, this is all about a Dutch woman, Truus Wijsmuller-Meijer, who saved thousands ...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
Susan Peterson
The Last Train to London is compelling historical fiction, an extraordinary story of sacrifice and bravery. Set in Vienna in the late 1930’s, the author has given us a detailed and compassionate look into the plight of Austria and its Jewish population, through the Anschluss, Kristallnacht, and a Vienna which quickly changed from an elegant city to one of hate and terror. The novel is centered around the Kindertransport which saved the lives of thousands of children, and the courageous Dutch wom ...more
Sarah Stone
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you HarperCollins Publishers and NetGalley for the ARC of The Last Train to London by Meg White Clayton. This is an interesting part of World War II history based on the Kindertransports and the real life woman Truus Wijsmuller who saved thousands of Jewish children by smuggling them out of Germany to safe houses. Her courage is undeniable. I enjoyed researching her story after I finished the book more than I enjoyed reading the book.. I found the book to be slow moving and it was difficul ...more
Best book I’ve read this year! Immaculately researched, wonderfully developed characters that you will fall in love with, and compelling story! If you liked The Nightingale and Schindler’s Ark, you’ll love this story of the kindertransports out of Austria ...
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Thanks to the publisher for an ARC of The Last Train to London. I absolutely loved this book, and can almost guarantee it will be one of my top 5 of the year!
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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