Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Nevermore: Run Away, Sarah's Key, Big Magic, We Were Always Free, Last Train to London

Reported by Laura

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton, set in 1936, focuses on one woman’s efforts to transport children to safety through the Kindertransports. Truus Wijsmuller, a member of the Dutch resistance, risks her life to smuggle Jewish children out of Nazi Germany to the countries that will accept them. This becomes an even greater task after Hitler’s annexation of Austria as many countries close their borders to the fleeing refugees. The reviewer found it a good book written about a difficult time in history when people began to turn on each other and the Germans came in and documented everything. This one will definitely tug at your heartstrings.

          Our next reader loved the book We Were Always Free by T.O.Madden Jr.  It covers 200 years of the history of Culpepper, VA focusing on the family of Mary Madden, a poor Irish immigrant who became pregnant by a slave owned by Col. James Madison, father of the future president. This child, Sarah, though a free mulatto, became an indentured servant to the Madisons and worked until the age of 31 to pay the fine of her birth. T.O. Madden is one of Mary’s descendants who found the documents and information in a hidebound trunk in 1949. The reviewer found this to be a very thorough and interesting book.

           Big Magic is a nonfiction book by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love. In this book, Ms. Gilbert advocates creative living beyond fear. She asks us to embrace our dreams and face down our fears. Our reviewer enjoyed the book.

          The next book, Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay, is heartbreaking historical fiction. It tells of a 10 year-old Jewish girl who is arrested, along with her family, by the French police in 1942. Thinking she will return shortly when everything is straightened out, she locks her younger brother in a cupboard to save him. Hauntingly, she is unable to return.  In 2002, a young journalist is asked to write a story about that dark day in France’s history and her research leads her to Sarah and her family. The reviewer recommends it as a good book.

          Our last selection was Harlan Coben’s Run Away. It tells the story of a father whose troubled daughter runs away from home. By chance, he sees her in Central Park, but she is clearly in trouble and runs from him. He refuses to let her go and follows into a dark, dangerous world where murder is commonplace. This book was recommended as a very interesting and exciting book.

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