The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton
Updated: Apr 10
★★★★ (3 on my Mama Scale)
In the pre-war tension of anti-Semitic Austria, one courageous soul rose up to defend and protect the most innocent. Based on the true story of the Vienna Kindertransports, THE LAST TRAIN TO LONDON is hauntingly beautiful.
Huge thanks to Harper Books for an advance copy of this beauty. Very much honored to have the chance to read and review this sweeping story.
WHAT I LOVED: The overall experience of entering into the world of Stephan, Zofie-Helene, and Truus was a complete pleasure. Meg Waite Clayton writes with such ease and her storytelling reminded me a lot of Anthony Doerr’s ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE. She wrote this time period with perfection and I truly felt like I was existing within the worlds she created.
WHAT I DIDN'T LOVE: Despite loving her style of writing, I did struggle with Clayton’s plot structure. She alternated perspectives between the kids: Stephan and Zofie, the adults: (mainly) Truus, and then the political aspect via Adolf Eichmann. While I love varying perspectives, as they do deepen the texture of the story, it caused two issues for me. First, I struggled to keep up with the overall timeline due to the lack of distinct connection and differentiation between the characters. And, second, the plot fizzled out for me since the story had to build from three different viewpoints instead of just one.
Overall, a solid four stars based on strength of writing. Would’ve been a five with a stronger rising action and climax.
Would absolutely recommend for fans of the more character-driven WWII fiction. Click here for more info and praise for The Last Train to London.
brutality, forced separation of children, and suicide
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