A Train in Winter
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 17 Apr 2013
Full Title: A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France
During the four-year German occupation of France, most went about their business, but there were a few who actively resisted. Caroline Moorehead's A Train in Winter told stories of a small group of women who did so, printing and distributing anti-occupation nationalistic leaflets and newsletters, hiding resistance fighters and guiding them to Spain, and performing any acts that, if caught by the Germans, possibly meant imprisonment at concentration camps. Some of these women would eventually make their way home, forever scarred, while others would perish at Auschwitz in Poland, succumbing to disease, starvation, physical violence, and the brutal cold. This work, among one of many on the topic of the French resistance and of concentration camps, yet again reminded us how war could bring out both the best and worst within mankind, and how compelling the stories of individuals could be, even if these common men and women were but tiny threads in the great weave of world history.
One minor complaint I had while going through this book was the use of the French language. Having next to no knowledge of French, I found it a bit frustrating that not all French quotes, phrases, and words that Moorehead included in her work were translated, thus leaving me minimally temporarily clueless, hoping that I would get lucky in determining the meaning from context, which happened only occasionally. Having reviewed this title in its audio book form slightly complicated that issue, as I, especially during the first few tracks, had to get use to the reading of French words. The reader, Wanda McCaddon, did a fine job with the narrating of this audio book.
I did not feel that A Train in Winter ranked high among works of similar topics that I had come across in the past, but I had enjoyed it nevertheless. Not bad for a title I picked up from the local library on a whim.
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Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal