the good book corner

Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews

The Children’s Train by Jana Zinser

fbsquare

The Children’s Train comes at a time when everyone has been talking about Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See. With books such as Doerr’s Pulitzer winner and others, like The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Book Thief, one wonders how passé Jana’s book is. All these books bring to light, the traumatic experiences of children, who suffered because of the heinous ambitions of one man. Would Jana’s book add something new to the theme, or just be one of the many, that join the bandwagon of a tried and tested formula???
The novel starts with a heart-wrenching dedication……
It is with great passion that I tell the story of these children who lived in a time of tremendous evil and had to be bold just to stay alive. Although the children in my story are fictional, they represent both the many children who rode the Kindertransport and those who were not lucky enough to get a seat on the train. Since the moment I heard their historic tale, they have not left my mind. The Kindertransport children came to live in my conscience and would not leave until I told their story. The Nazis killed six million Jews. One-and-a-half million of those Jews were children. Peter and Becca represent two of the more than ten thousand children who safely escaped to England on the Kindertransport. Most of the Kindertransport children never saw their parents again. All of them survived in their own ways and found their own paths in the world. If their tragedy taught them anything, it was that as long as there is life, there is hope, and sometimes, if you’re lucky, love. The children who survived these times are now in the twilight of their lives. But, in each, I imagine the heart of a child still lives and remembers what it was like to face the fear and sorrow that no child should ever know. They have shown us how valuable life is—and how hope can push us to survive beyond anything we thought we could bear. If we have learned anything from the struggles of their young lives, we will not be silent and stand by when evil comes calling. We will fight back”
……….and then it was difficult for me to put the book down.

Along with Peter, there are many other characters and Jana skilfully manages to narrate and connect their respective stories. While Eva and Eddie live the horrors of the camps in Germany and Poland, Becca’s comfortable life in London, is marred by nightmares of never seeing her family again. The only thing that Peter has to hold on to is his love for music. “Violinists are fearless,” Peter countered. “Have you ever tried to play Mozart?”  While everything that was dear to these kinder is taken away from them, what stays with them is their music. The stories are simple and easy to read.

Even though a lot has been written about WW2 and Hitler’s death camps, many stories are lost in the pages of the history books. I personally was not aware of the Kindertransport (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindertransport), though I had read enough about the efforts made to rescue the Jews from Germany, Austria and Poland.

The Children’s Train, though not a literary marvel, is a very well researched book. The writing delineates the traumatic experiences and keeps the readers engrossed. The sadness, misery, love and most of all- HOPE, reflect through the pages.
YES….. Jana’s book captures the dark period of our modern history and makes us think, and then think again! I would recommend this book to young adults, and adults as well!
Advertisements

About artikabakshi

Artika Aurora Bakshi Artika co-manages thegoodbookcorner.com. She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master's degree in International Banking & Finance. Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika's articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror and Daily News and various blogs, such as, talkingcranes.com, sikhchic.com, sikhnet.com. She is actively involved with SAARC Women's Association of Sri Lanka. An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts. Her short stories have been published online and she is also working on her own novel. Artika has published My Little Sikh Handbook and is currently working on her second children's book, with Sikhism as its central theme. You can reach Artika at bakshiartika@gmail.com .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on September 17, 2015 by in Book Reviews, Fiction, Historical and tagged , , .
%d bloggers like this: