The last train to London by Meg Waite Clayton

An incredibly heroic story

The last train to London – Meg Waite Clayton

“Children are the most precious possession in the world.”

The last train to freedom

In the Dutch translation, they changed London to freedom. I do understand why. It’s the last chance for Jewish children to have their freedom. In December 1936 Truus starts to help Jewish children to escape Germany. When the laws change drastically, Truus knows she has to do more for these innocent children in not only Germany but also its surrounding areas. In Vienna Eichmann tells her that she can transport 600 children to England, no more no less. On purpose, he says they have to leave on their sabbath day. Yet Truus is determined to find them and save their lives from the nazi terror.

Stephan’s story

It’s not only the story of resistance fighter Truus, but it’s also the story of a Jewish boy called Stephan. Stephan grew up considerably rich. He loves to write scripts, he loves his family, and he has a friend Zofie-Helene whose mother is a journalist against the nazi regime. When the Nazis take power, his life is in danger. He’s able to escape but for how long?

A story about love and hope

The last train to London is about a strong woman who doesn’t give up. She keeps on fighting for the Jewish children, even when unexpected things happen and governments don’t always cooperate. Besides this, it’s also a story about hope and love. Hope for a better future and that love will never disappear. The love of Truus for the children, the love between her and her husband Joop and the love of Stephan for his parents and little brother.

Some stories need to be told, including this story of Truus and all the children she helped. That is why I can recommend the book to everyone. It is a fictional story, but Clayton has based everything on the harsh truth and the biography of Truus Wijsmuller. It’s a heroic and moving story; it is a story that will stay with you for a long time.

*Based on the Dutch translation ‘De laatste trein naar vrijheid’

Snow Foal by Susanna Bailey

Some bonds can never be broken

Snow Foal by Susanna Bailey
Review written by Dee

‘Want your mam too, don’t you?’ Addie said, her words ragged, thin. She covered her face with her hands and tried to control her own breathing. When she moved them away, the foal was staring at her, his wide dark eyes shimmering in the yellow light.

Snow Foal

When Addie has to stay in a foster-care family, she meets a special ‘friend’. Their bond is unique and their stories are similar. Addie is determined that both of them will find their way back home again, whatever it takes and whatever that means…

A beautiful and heartwarming story

I love the way Susanna takes you into the story of Addie and her foal. It’s beautiful how she uses symbols to connect both their stories. It’s truly, as the book says, a beautiful and heartwarming story.

Yes!

I would really recommend reading this book. This unique story gives you a peek in the life of a girl in a foster-care home. It catches you right away and takes you along the whole story. The book is easy to read and it reminds you of what it means to have hope, love and friendship, especially in difficult times.

January reading challenge

Books, books, and more books

The bookish life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

It’s all very well to have a plan-it’s a good idea-but you have to be able to walk away from it if you need to.”

Living in a bookish world

Nina Hill works in a bookstore, plays trivia with her friends, runs book clubs, and has a cat Phil. What more could a woman wish for? A bigger family? A love interest? Or just more books? If it was up to Nina, it would be more books. However, life likes to throw things at you. So she finds out she has a bigger family than she could ever imagine and her trivia rival is cuter than she thought. Slowly she discovers there is more in life than books (only). She has to adapt and that’s not as easy as it sounds, especially if you have anxiety…

A quirky romance

I love the simple yet funny writing style of Waxman. She takes us on a journey and I feel like being part of Nina’s life. Maybe it’s also easier if you’re like Nina a true book lover. You understand how important it is to just stay at home and read. But there’s more to this (besides sentences such as: grilled cheese in any form was her spirit animal and you’re a quizzard, Harry): there’s the theme of anxiety and stepping out of your comfort zone. I could read more about Nina’s life so when it was finally the last chapter and the last sentence, I was quite sad. It sounded a bit abrupt and I would have loved to know more about some of her family members and what’s going to happen now. Does it mean there’s going to be another book? I’m afraid not. Guess I have to read another novel of Waxman. Going to do “a Nina Hill” and continue reading!

To read or not to read

The bookish life of Nina Hill is a perfect novel for the book lovers out there. It’s simple, funny, witty, and takes you from one book lover’s world to another. It’s a yes.