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The Last Train to London by Meg Waite is a beautifully written and heart-wrenching novel that explores one of the darkest chapters in human history – the Kindertransport. Set in Vienna and London in the late 1930s, the book tells the story of Truus Wijsmuller, a Dutch woman who worked tirelessly to rescue Jewish children from the Nazis and bring them to safety in England.
Waite’s writing is powerful and evocative, transporting the reader to a time and place that is both terrifying and awe-inspiring. She captures the fear and uncertainty of life under Nazi occupation, as well as the bravery and resilience of those who fought against it.
At the heart of the novel is Truus Wijsmuller, a real-life hero who saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children during the war. Waite brings this remarkable woman to life on the page, showing us her determination, compassion, and unwavering commitment to the cause of justice. The scenes in which Truus negotiates with the Nazis to secure safe passage for the children are particularly gripping, as we see her risking her own safety to save the lives of others.
The Last Train to London is also a deeply moving exploration of the bonds of family and friendship. Waite shows us the devastating impact that the war had on families, as loved ones were torn apart by violence and persecution. But she also shows us the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity, as characters find hope and solace in the connections they make with others.
One of the most impressive aspects of this book is the way in which Waite weaves together historical facts and fiction to create a compelling narrative. The Last Train to London is based on real events and real people, and Waite’s research is evident in the rich detail and authenticity of the setting. But she also creates complex and fully realised characters who feel like living, breathing human beings, and the result is a novel that is both informative and emotionally resonant.
In conclusion, The Last Train to London is a powerful and deeply moving novel that offers a fresh perspective on one of the darkest chapters in human history. Meg Waite’s writing is exceptional, and her characters are unforgettable. This is a book that will stay with you long after you turn the final page, and it is a testament to the resilience and courage of the human spirit. Highly recommended.