The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert was actually an international bestseller before it came to the US. After watching it jump off the shelves at the bookstore faster than I could get a chance to read it, that is not a surprise to me at all.
If you are reading only one book this year, let me make a case for this book. Everything about this book goes against it being a good book. It is written in a very simple fashion. It is kind of jumpy in its breaks. Sometimes the breaks mean a different character voice and other times it means a jump in time. Because of this it doesn’t flow. Yet despite all of these “problems” this book will not leave you alone and you will need to finish it once you get started.
The main character is little Gretl. You will fall in love with this quiet little girl as soon as you meet her. She is busy trying to do exactly what she was told to do by her Mutti and Oma when they squeeze her out a small opening in the cattle car bound for Auschwitz. She is later taken in by Jakob, a Polish resistance fighter.
The story goes from there, but I could not do it justice in a short time. Just know that this book should be on your reading list and it should be on the top. I read it over a weekend. I kept putting the book down to do other things I was suppose to be doing, but could hardly wait to get back to the book. I read it late into the night even when I had to get up early the next morning. It didn’t matter, I wanted to know what happens to little Gretl and Jakob.
I am hoping to hear more from the author. She has a very unique writing style which makes for a very good read.