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The Last Train to London: A Novel

The Last Train to London: A Novel

Escrito por Meg Waite Clayton

Narrado por John Lee


The Last Train to London: A Novel

Escrito por Meg Waite Clayton

Narrado por John Lee

avaliações:
4.5/5 (32 avaliações)
Comprimento:
11 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Sep 10, 2019
ISBN:
9780062946959
Formato:
Audiolivro

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Descrição

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 more than loud, brutish bores to fifteen-year old Stephan Neuman, the son of a wealthy and influential Jewish family and budding playwright whose playground extends from Vienna's streets to its intricate underground tunnels. Stephan's best friend and companion is the brilliant Žofie-Helene, a Christian girl whose mother edits a progressive, anti-Nazi newspaper. But the two adolescents' carefree innocence is shattered when the Nazis' take control.

There is hope in the darkness, though. Truus Wijsmuller, a member of the Dutch resistance, risks her life smuggling Jewish children out of Nazi Germany to the nations that will take them. It is a mission that becomes even more dangerous after the Anschluss—Hitler's annexation of Austria—as, across Europe, countries close their borders to the growing number of refugees desperate to escape.

Tante Truus, as she is known, is determined to save as many children as she can. After Britain passes a measure to take in at-risk child refugees from the German Reich, she dares to approach Adolf Eichmann, the man who would later help devise the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question," in a race against time to bring children like Stephan, his young brother Walter, and Žofie-Helene on a perilous journey to an uncertain future abroad.

Editora:
Lançado em:
Sep 10, 2019
ISBN:
9780062946959
Formato:
Audiolivro

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Sobre o autor

Meg Waite Clayton is a New York Times bestselling author of six novels, most recently Beautiful Exiles. Her previous novels include the Langum Prize--honored The Race for Paris; The Language of Light, a finalist for the Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction (now the PEN/Bellwether); and The Wednesday Sisters, one of Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Essential Best Friend Novels of all time. She has also written for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes, and public radio, often on the subject of the particular challenges women face.

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4.5
32 avaliações / 8 Análises
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Avaliações de leitores

  • (5/5)
    Loved it! I am picky but this one was good.
  • (5/5)
    Wonderful book about the Kindertransport during WW2. The two inter-laced stories focus on the woman helping to rescue endangered children, and a pair of the children who were rescued. Would be a great recommendation for a book club to discuss.
  • (5/5)
    THE LAST TRAIN TO LONDON by Meg Waite ClaytonTruus, a Dutch woman, works to save children from sure death in Nazi Germany in the run up to WWII. This story is based on the real Truus Wijsmuller and the Kindertransport. Well written and researched it will live with you long after you finish reading. While the subject is terrifying, the book itself is full of hope, love, bravery, altruism and redemption.The fiction part of the book details life in Nazi Germany for two young people, one Christian and one Jewish. Fifteen year old Stephan works hard on writing plays, stories and poems. He idolizes the author Stefan Zweig, whom his very wealthy Jewish family has actually met. Zophie-Helene’s mother is a well-known newspaper journalist who fearlessly writes columns disparaging Hitler. When these two stories collide, the tension rises palpably. Both families struggle to get their children out of Germany and to relative safety in England as the Nazi web comes ever closer to the families. Meanwhile Truus takes ever more daring risks to save the children of Germany.Book groups will find much to discuss. This would be a good book for a parent child book group, a group interested in WWII and one devoted to learning more of ordinary people who do extraordinary things.5 of 5 stars
  • (5/5)
    Between the time I’d shelved it and reserved it at the library and picking it up from the library, I’d forgotten than this was a historical fiction novel and not a non-fiction book. I had two others borrowed from the library novels at home with more expected soon. But this looked good enough to start. This definitely read like a novel and at the start had me realizing how much I was in the mood for non-fiction, but to its credit I ended up loving it. 4-1/2 starsThe titled chapters, many very short, did help make this a relatively quick read. It’s in 4 parts with the 2nd part being by far the longest: Part I The Time Before December 1936, Part II The Time Between March 1938, Part III The Time After January 1939 – the dates being just the start of the sections, and then Part IV And Then…(just 2 pages long, and non-fiction)Alternating multiple stories with several sets of characters I just knew would be connected by the end and they were. Very satisfyingly and skillfully done.Despite being a “before” the Holocaust book, there is an awful lot of atrocities and persecution that happen. I could feel the fear and the relief and the love and the sadness and the horror.I loved so many of the characters. I especially loved Žofie-Helene the math genius and Stephen Neuman the playwright and wonderful older brother and Tante Truus, and many others too. I could say so much more about these three well developed characters and the other characters too.There are some good villains too, including some heartbreakingly young, and Eichmann plays a chilling role.I have an audio edition on hold, specifically to learn the correct pronunciation of many names. (I’d loved to have read the paper and audio editions simultaneously but the audio isn’t yet available to me.) I particularly want to know how Žofie-Helene is pronounced. Also Truus and her full name. Hopefully the narrator will correctly pronounce the German, Austrian, and Dutch names. I did get a kick out of Adele Weiss being pronounced edelweiss like the flower (and later the song in the The Sound of Music) but I want to make sure I understood that correctly.The story and characters touched my heart. There is incredible suspense. Harrowing! It’s a page-turner. I did stay up to the middle of the night to finish it. It was predictable in some ways yet not at all in other ways. My emotions ran the gamut as I read. It’s an excellent novel.I loved the dedication at the beginning and loved and appreciated the acknowledgments section at the end. The author does explain a bit about what in the story is non-fiction and where she took liberties for the sake of the fictional story. I am grateful for that, although much would be easy to look up. I was too mesmerized by the story to take time to fact check even though I was curious at times. One sentence in the acknowledgments broke my heart. I have read a fair amount about the Kindertransport but learned more about a part of it from this novel.This is a fine addition to the historical fiction Holocaust genre.For some reason I thought friends here had already read this (I’ve seen so much about it here) but I’m now seeing this is not the case. I highly recommend it. I’m glad I read it instead of the non-fiction book I’d thought I preferred.I’m going to check out this author’s other books and if any of their topics appeal to me I will add them to my to read shelf.
  • (5/5)
    Holy Cow!!! I thought I had read everything that had to do with the Kindertransport, however I missed a lot on my journey to understanding until The Last Train to London rode into my universe. Ms. Clayton has created a world where heartache, Heroism, and horror blend together to honor men and women who tried to do what was best for the Jewish Children of WWII torn German, Austria and the surrounding areas.

    Stephan Neumann Is an ordinary Austrian teenager, however what is inordinately different is that he is a phenomenal writer who loves the brilliant math prodigy, Žofie-Helene Perger daughter of a “rabble rousing journalist” and whose family owns the most famous chocolatier factory in all of Austria. The Last Train to London is his story. It’s also. Madame Geertruida Wijsmuller’s (Tante Truus as she was known to those she saved) story, and the thousands of children she helped save from the terrors of the Concentration Camps of WWII. Those adults that ran the Kindertransport were hero's. They risked their own lives and their families lives into the danger of themselves being residents of any of the horrific concentration camps. We owe them the stories that are told of them to help open each other’s eyes so we don’t have a repeat of the terror of trying to annihilate a whole race of people. People of the Jewish faith, ones related to me and my German ancestors. People who believe in peace and love. This is their story, this is a story we all should read and learn from.
    I highly recommend The Last Train Of London as not only as a great read, the factual history is dark, deep and revealing AND one that is timely and important.
  • (5/5)
    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 publisher for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
  • (5/5)
    WW2, War is Hell, historical-places-events, historical-figures, historical-research, love, historical-fiction From Austria, home of the Von Trapps, to the Netherlands, home of Anne Frank. This is the first part of the journey of the brave children rescued from Nazis by many courageous people, but especially the woman known to them as Tante Truus. She is different from Oskar Schindler, but equally driven. This is real history dressed in the finery of fiction. The publisher's blurb gives a sort of overview of select characters and part of their stories, no need to further recap. A wrenching story, but well worth telling. I requested and received a free ebook copy from HarperCollins Publishers via NetGalley. Thank you so much.
  • (4/5)
    A special thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.Waite Clayton's pre-World War II-era story is an emotional and harrowing depiction of the Kindertransports that carried thousands of children out of Nazi-occupied Europe, and of the one brave woman who helped them escape to safety.The Last Train to London is an illumination of an unsung hero from an actual historical event. Tante Truss, as she is known, is a fierce and brave woman that constantly risks her life to save as many innocent children as she can. This story is a deep, slow burn with a lot of characters to keep track of and ultimately readers may find themselves disconnected. Written in short chapters and voiced by a number of characters, Waite Clayton frequently loses any momentum which is why the story doesn't gain traction until about two thirds of the way through. The narrators are not omniscient and because there are multiple viewpoints offered, there is a lot of context given to create the much bigger picture that is going on.What is most moving is that this book is about the profoundness of kindness, and for standing up for what you believe in—for the good and for what's right. This is a timely message as the world needs more empathy, love, and goodness right now.The Last Train to London is a beautifully written and captivating read.