THE LAST TRAIN TO LONDON by Meg Waite Clayton
Truus, 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