"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Girl From the Train, by Irma Joubert

     The Girl From the Train is a delightful journey that I simply did not want to end.  It is a must read for anyone who likes historical fiction from the 1940s and 1950s

     Gretl is a little German girl who escapes a train bound for Auschwitz.  Jakob is a young Polish man who rescues her and takes her into his home.  She lives with his family for a few years, but circumstances force her to leave.  She ends up being taken in by a South African family.  This story is about the growth and self-discovery both of these characters make through an interesting time in history for both Eastern Europe and South Africa.

     Joubert writes with such elegance, and her characters are so real you feel as though you've known them forever.  A former teacher, Joubert's research into these times and places is quite evident in the book.  Jakob's love of Polish traditions and his involvement in Polish politics of the time are fascinating.  Gretl's story is equally as captivating.  She's a girl with multiple experiences which she must learn to reconcile - her German, Polish, and South African roots conflict with each other almost as much as her Protestant, Jewish, and Catholic backgrounds do.  And through all of this is woven a very compelling and innocent love story.

     In a word, this novel is breathtaking.  It's one of my new favorites, which I plan on rereading many times.  I highly recommend it to anyone who knows how to read.  Seriously.

Disclaimer:  I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Five out of Five Stars, in case you couldn't tell.   =)