Sue 's Reviews > The Last Train to London

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction, wwii
Read 2 times. Last read May 29, 2019 to June 1, 2019.

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 numbers of Jewish children. The two main characters are young teenagers who live in Vienna and are living their lives in the carefree way of the young. Fifteen-year old Stephan Neuman, the son of a wealthy and influential Jewish family and budding playwright lives in a huge home with his parents and younger brother. Stephan’s best friend and companion is the brilliant Žofie-Helene, a Christian girl whose mother edits a progressive, anti-Nazi newspaper. In March, 1938, their lives change drastically when the Germans invade Austria. Truus realizes that she needs to get a large number of children out of Austria for their safety and arranges a meeting with Adolf Eichmann. He tells her that 600 children can get on the train headed to England - not 599 and not 601 but they must travel on the Sabbath, which makes the rescue even more difficult to arrange. Will Truus be able to rescue Stephan and Zofie and keep them safe or will they be forced to stay in Austria and face an unknown and perilous future?

This novel was beautifully written and well-researched. I loved all three of the main characters - they were all brave and cared deeply about their families and other people. Truus was a real hero but the other heroes were the parents who sent their children away, knowing that they would probably never see them again, so that they could be safe. This book made my cry because the characters were so real and I cared deeply about their futures.

Author Karen Fowler said this about The Last Train to London: "Recommend this book to anyone who thinks no single person can make a difference.”

Thanks to the author for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
35 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Last Train to London.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 29, 2019 – Started Reading
June 1, 2019 – Finished Reading
June 3, 2019 – Shelved
June 3, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
June 3, 2019 – Shelved as: wwii

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Meg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meg Clayton Thank you for reading, Sue, and for this lovely review.

Laura Didn’t you just want to grab little Walter and hold him?? And take Sofie, Stephan &Walter home? I totally agree with your review. This is a book everyone should read.

Sue The Just-About-Cocky Ms M wrote: "I just added this because I need a GOOD book about WWII, not those awful fluffy romances that trivialize the war because True Luv. Sorry as well that the blurb used Orphan Train and All the Light e..."

This one has a little romance but it definitely isn't the most important part of the story. Smuggling the kids out and to safe homes was a fantastic part of the story. I read a lot of WWII and this one is in my top 5!

Sue Laura wrote: "Didn’t you just want to grab little Walter and hold him?? And take Sofie, Stephan &Walter home? I totally agree with your review. This is a book everyone should read."

Agreed - I loved all of the characters - they were so well written that they seemed like people that I know.

back to top