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Publisher's Summary

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 in. 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. 

“A riveting read with an endearing, courageous protagonist...takes us from war-torn Poland to the veldt of South Africa in a story rich in love, loss, and the survival of the human spirit.” (Anne Easter Smith, author of A Rose for the Crown)

“Richly imagined and masterfully told, a love story so moving it will leave you breathless. And deeply satisfied.” (Tamera Alexander, USA Today best-selling author)

“Captivating. Emotional and heart-stirring. Joubert masterfully crafts every scene with tenderness and hauntingly accurate detail. It’s a stunning coming-of-age novel that packs emotion in a delicate weave of hope, faith — and the very best of love.” (Kristy Cambron, author of The Butterfly and The Violin and A Sparrow in Terezin)  

“A fresh voice and a masterpiece I could not put down — one I will long remember.” (Cathy Gohlke, Christy Award winning author of Secrets She Kept and Saving Amelie)

The Girl From the Train is an eloquent, moving testament to love and its power to illuminate our authentic selves.” (Sherry Jones, author of The Sharp Hook of Love

Full-length World War II historical novel

International bestseller 

©2015 Irma Joubert (P)2015 Thomas Nelson Publishers

What listeners say about The Girl from the Train

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent story covering the middle of the 20th C.

OK, granted it's a "chick book," but an engaging one. As usual, the women can look deep into the eyes (which are discussed at length, as well as other parts of the facade) and tell everything they would wish to know about men. That said, it's an intriguing story and well worth the read. It gives much info about wartime Poland & South Africa of the post-war & cold war period.

16 people found this helpful

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Story pulled me in from the beginning.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Great story and beautiful narration.

10 people found this helpful

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Compelling Epic Journey!

This audio book is probably my absolute favorite audio book, and I've listened to a hundred or more. Only fault is the ending is a tad bit weak compared to the phenomenal entirety of the story. The narrator, Sarah Zimmerman, does an incredible job taking us through 4-5 countries with many languages and accents throughout a 15 year period (age 6-21) of a young girl/young woman's life beginning in World War II. (Reviewed by David's wife.)

6 people found this helpful

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Kind

It is a very interesting book mixing in facts with romance. Good read, loved it

5 people found this helpful

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5 star for first half, 3 stars for second half

I really enjoyed the first half of the book. There was history, intrigue and some great characters. The second half turned sappy and very predictable.

3 people found this helpful

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wonderful listen!

Perhaps this book should be ranked among the greatest love stories ever told. Narrator was absolutely fantastic ! will most definitely listen again!

3 people found this helpful

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Recommend without reservation

A beautiful story that transcends time and place. It touches the the rawness of the human
Condition with a promise of hope that could only come from the heart of love.

3 people found this helpful

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Stunning

Very interesting and entertaining story. I highly recommend it. Very good voice as well who did the reading.

3 people found this helpful

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You absolutely must get this book

I had heard of this book long before I purchased it. I decided to get it on audible and it is definitely the best audiobook I have heard. The story is truly a masterpiece, the kind where you just settle in for a satisfying, beautiful journey. The reader lends an extra beauty all on her own and you fall in love with Jakob, Gretal, and the supporting characters. Please do not miss this beautiful story.

2 people found this helpful

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Engaging and lovely.

I dearly enjoyed this story. Everything about it. The characters were lovable and the story had dark depth but beautiful moments. The story takes place during and after WW2. It follows the lives of a German/Jewish orphan and the Polish man who gives her a better life. Definitely give it a read.

2 people found this helpful