The bestselling author of Beautiful Exiles delivers a pre-World War II-era story centering on the Kindertransports that carried thousands of children out of Nazi-occupied Europe--and one brave woman who helped them to safety.
I was fascinated by the novel's premise and enjoyed learning about how thousands of children were shuttled to safety via Kindertransport. Just like a train, the first one-third of the story unfolded slowly before gaining momentum and a more constant speed. The next third chugged along nicely, allowing me to form an affinity for each of the main characters, especially once their stories converged. Even though the book was long and detailed, the short chapters definitely helped it move along more quickly than expected, and I liked that newspaper articles were included. By the time I reached the last third, it was full steam ahead, and I couldn't put it down ... Nonfiction history buffs will appreciate Meg Waite Clayton’s meticulous research and attention to detail, while fans of historical fiction will love the personable characters, as well as the emotion poured into the story. I found the scenes at the train station, in which the parents had to say goodbye to their children, especially poignant and excruciatingly heartwrenching ... an incredibly unique, hopeful and inspirational story about a strong, fierce and determined woman. Even though I’ve read numerous books set during WWII, it was a unique subject for me and definitely needs to be shared with the world.
... devastating ... In a time when many parents are again facing the impossible choice of seeking safety for their children, even if it means separation and uncertainty, The Last Train to London reads like a warning note from the past. Yet the novel also glimmers with hope: the heroism of everyday people putting their own comfortable lives in jeopardy to help others.
... brings to vivid life the extraordinary bravery of one fiercely dedicated childless woman who is attempting to save the lives of literally thousands of innocent children as Hitler marshals his forces across Europe. By writing the Kindertransport story as a novel, Meg Waite Clayton captures the humanity of the young victims and the inhumanity of those who were ‘just following orders’ more than any biography could. A memorable addition to the literature of World War II and one that is eerily relevant to present-day migrant struggles the world over.