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Summary

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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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • john
  • 12-04-16

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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Paula Boudreault
  • 27-12-15

Story pulled me in from the beginning.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Great story and beautiful narration.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • lyndsay.sine
  • 30-06-16

Kind

It is a very interesting book mixing in facts with romance. Good read, loved it

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cathey Johnson
  • 29-05-16

Stunning

Very interesting and entertaining story. I highly recommend it. Very good voice as well who did the reading.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-04-16

A great start but a disappointing development

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Not anyone in my reading groups

Would you ever listen to anything by Irma Joubert again?

Maybe

How could the performance have been better?

the performance was fine.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Jo F Cordell
  • 04-11-16

Recommend without reservation

A beautiful story that transcends time and place. It touches the the rawness of the human
Condition with a promise of hope that could only come from the heart of love.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-08-18

wonderful listen!

Perhaps this book should be ranked among the greatest love stories ever told. Narrator was absolutely fantastic ! will most definitely listen again!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynn A. D.
  • 28-08-18

Thoroughly enjoyable

This is such a good story from beginning to end. It has drama, history, edge-of-your-seat suspense, romantic interests, sorrow, and all put together to keep the reader interested. Excellent, and very well performed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ann s silcox
  • 23-08-18

Great story

Historic fiction, interesting about South Africa!
I could hardly put this book down. I will be thinking about the characters for weeks to come.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amy K. Bloemhof
  • 19-08-18

Loved if

Very good story. It was interesting, entertaining, and engaging. I really enjoyed listening. Thank you

1 of 1 people found this review helpful