Friday, October 23, 2015

"The Girl From the Train" by Irma Joubert

About this book:

  “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.”

Series: As of now, no.

Spiritual Content- ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Bible reading; Scriptures are read & discussed; Many Prayers & Prayers to Mary; Talks about Prayers; Going to Church, Mass & Sunday School; Talks about the Jewish & Catholic faith; Crossing & the Catholic faith; Mentions of Mass & Church going; Mentions of being good to get into Heaven; Many mentions of Christmas; Many, many, many mentions of those in the Bible & the Madonna;
*Note: A mention of superstition; Mentions of hell & hellfire; A threat of “I’ll give them hell.”.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘bloody hell’, a form of ‘shut up’, four ‘bloody’s, four forms of ‘dumb’, and 12 ‘stupid’s; Mentions of curses said, but not written; Lots of Fighting, fires, blood, death, bombs, pain, guns, being shot, & killing (semi-detailed to detailed); Bombs, deaths & screams (semi-detailed); Gretl’s father was shot; Lots of social drinking (Jakób & Grietjie both drink wine, beer or vodka); Many mentions of drinking, vodka & pubs; Mentions of cigarettes & cigars; Mentions of spankings (semi-detailed); Mentions of slaughter animals, eating rats & shooting birds; Mentions of murder & riots; Mentions of gunfire & being shot at (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of concentration camps & ovens.

Sexual Content- two forehead kisses, three barely-above-not-detailed kisses, three semi-detailed kisses, and four detailed kisses (one in a man’s POV); Mentions of kisses & remembering kisses (semi-detailed); Mentions of kissing; Touches, Dancing & wanting to touch (borderline semi-detailed // detailed); Lots and Lots of Noticing (semi-detailed to detailed); a ‘b*st*rd’; Mentions of boyfriends & dating; A mention of a woman who is “seductively neutral”; Mentions of pinky toes seducing men (with a mention of parts of the female anatomy that’s “a lot seductive than picky toes!”); A couple mentions of getting into bed with a political group; Mentions of pictures of South Africans wearing nothing but beads & women wearing nothing at all; Mentions of physical desire & attraction; Two mentions of a honeymoon; Love, thinking you’re in love, falling in love & the emotions;

-Gretl Schmidt, age 6-21
-Jakób Kowalski, age 21-34
                                P.O.V. switches between them.
                                              Set in 1944-1958
                                                        320 pages

Pre Teens-

New Teens-

Early High School Teens-

Older High School Teens-

My personal Rating-

*Spoiler Free Final Thoughts*
Recently, I’ve been staying away from World War Two stories due to my sensitive heart. And the fact that I can’t change anything about what I’m reading. (I can’t be the only one who thinks that.) WWII is a hard time in history to read about. At the beginning of this book, I thought Gretl was sweet, but the book would probably be getting a two-star rating from me, due to the social drinking, language and fight scenes. I did not know that this would be a romance novel, so that was an unpleasant surprise.
*NOT Spoiler Free Final Thoughts*
Gretl & Jakób are 14—excuse me, 13 and a half—years a part in it. Half-way in, when the romance starts in, Jakób, being 33, thinks he’s falling in love and kisses a girl—detailed. In his POV. Um, awkward. Then the author pushes Gretl & Jakób together and a crazy amount of noticing happens. I really, really, really dislike the age gap between Gretl & Jakób. She was 6 and he was 21 when they first met, and 21 and 34 when they marry. I’m sorry, I’m weirded out by that age difference. Not a fan of that part of the plot at all. *End of Spoilers*
*Spoiler Free Final Thoughts*
The Spiritual Content in the first half was great, but the latter half didn’t even have a 1/4th of content in the first half. I can’t in good confidence give a book with four detailed kiss (including one in a guy’s POV), an insane amount of noticing, and lots of social drinking anything higher than a 1-star rating.

See y’all on Monday with a new review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Thomas Nelson) for this honest review.

1 comment:

  1. I'm finding many Thomas Nelson books no longer even put "Christian" on the back. They aren't really promoting this as Christian either. The Christian Faith theme is weak, and I was highly disappointed in the language. Had it said Christian on it, I would have ranked it lower. Thomas Nelson has been bought I'm probably not going to be reading much from them as their books aren't really Christian themed.