Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Auschwitz. Jakób Kowalski is planting a bomb on the tracks. As World War II draws to a close, Jakób fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia. They mean to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl's unscheduled train reaches the bomb first. Gretl is the only survivor.
Though spared from the concentration camp, the orphaned German Jew finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people. When Jakób discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion prompt him to take her home. For three years, the young man and little girl form a bond over the secrets they must hide from his Catholic family. But she can't stay with him forever. Jakób sends Gretl to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant families - so long as Gretl's Jewish roots, Catholic education, and connections to communist Poland are never discovered.
Separated by continents, politics, religion, language, and years, Jakób and Gretl will likely never see each other again. But the events they have both survived and their belief that the human spirit can triumph over the ravages of war have formed a bond of love that no circumstances can overcome.
©2015 Irma Joubert (P)2015 Thomas Nelson Publishers
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"Excellent story covering the middle of the 20th C."
OK, granted it's a "chick book," but an engaging one. As usual, the women can look deep into the eyes (which are discussed at length, as well as other parts of the facade) and tell everything they would wish to know about men. That said, it's an intriguing story and well worth the read. It gives much info about wartime Poland & South Africa of the post-war & cold war period.
"Story pulled me in from the beginning."
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Great story and beautiful narration.
It is a very interesting book mixing in facts with romance. Good read, loved it
This book was well read! This story is amazing!!!! A must read! Better than Nicholas Sparks!
Very interesting and entertaining story. I highly recommend it. Very good voice as well who did the reading.
This is now my most favorite book! I hesitated purchasing this book. I thought it might be boring. The story and the performance was marvelous. I strongly recommend this book. I believe you will not be disappointed.
"Unique and amazing"
An atypical story of survival, love and belonging. The story kept me listening every chance I got!
"A great start but a disappointing development"
Not anyone in my reading groups
the performance was fine.
I was disappointed in how the book developed. It started out as a good and interesting "read", but it ended as a cheap dime store romance. It was as if the author forgot what she was actually writing about, or had someone write the last half of the book for her.
I won't give any spoilers. I should have guessed from the cover of the book how it would be a little off. (The girl is obviously off the train and running TOWARDS Birkinau.)
"What a let down!"
No, the last 25% of the book went from historical novel to melodramatic romance novel.
Yes & no. I would tell them to read the first 3/4 of the book and then quit. I really enjoyed the book until the last 1/4 and I could barely finish it.
No, I might die from high blood sugar.
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