Here are readers reviews of this brilliant new novel from Juliet.
I’ve always loved stories set in wartime, during which ordinary people find the courage and strength to do extraordinary things.
All actions have consequences, of course. So when the fighting is over, there are often questions to be answered and conflicts to be resolved. What choices were made, and were they good or bad?
This absorbing novel introduces the reader to two very different women. One is an Englishwoman, Nora, who arrives in France to study French cuisine in the spring of 1939, and the is other Iris, whom we meet in 1960s Cornwall.
As the Second World War breaks out, Nora finds herself responsible for a baby girl, Violette, the daughter of her friend Sabine. Nora and Violette return to England. But Violette has a twin sister who remains in France.
How will adopted daughter Iris deal with learning about her origins? What is her adoptive mother hiding - something harmless (but maybe embarrassing) or something terrible? Perhaps some secrets should stay buried? Or should the past always be open to scrutiny?
Read this engaging novel in order to find out.
A 5 star read. ✨✨✨✨✨
Beverley Ann Hopper
It's 1964 and Iris travels from London to Cornwall to visit her mum Nora and needs answers.
Her mum knew the questions were coming, a biscuit tin with postcards, photographs and letters with French stamps on them - were these from Iris past?
She was born the year WW1 was declared and the adoption certificate was dated 1950. The hairs began to rise on the back of her neck as she starts to read through them all, till she finds a image of the Eiffel Tower with the word Forgive on the back.
This book takes us back to Paris 1938, as we read such a remarkable story from the beginning.
The Last Train Fthe rom Paris, is one inspirational story that will grip you, through all of it's history, and Iris journey. I truly loved reading, the author has captured every single chapter to keep her readers turning pages.
Well, I loved it!
From the first page of the book, there was enough about the story that made you want to read on. The style in which the story is told is like a web being woven.
The story of two young girls, Nora and Sabine, their own personal challenges in such a man’s world and their strength in surviving.
The power of Juliet’s style of writing shows throughout, as the story is told from the present and the past, and how each of the families are torn apart by completely different aspects but still connected by the one tie across the channel. The one twin girl!
Sabine was a broken young mother, who after giving birth to two beautiful babies had to make the heart breaking decision as to what was best for the one twin. Having been let down by her husband and seeing another side of him, she needed to protect her girls.
A family torn apart by the war in France, she made a rash decision and had to live with it for years after, especially not knowing if the one baby daughter, and her friend Nora, had survived themselves.
The woman she hoped would look after and do the right thing by them all, also having her own heart break within her family unit, having the responsibility of a new born baby and not knowing what she did was the right thing but having to make difficult decisions.
The family now gripped by fear and having to flee the only home they knew, had to look after themselves and reassure the remaining twin baby girl that they were all safe!
So many turns and twists in the story that kept you wanting to read on.
I have now read a few books by Juliet and this one, I really did feel that I was in the story with them all, crying, holding my breath for a good outcome and feeling the emotions throughout a time that I can only imagine, and not ever want you to experience.
A must read and I would highly recommend this book.
From this very popular writer comes this new book set in dual timelines and dual locations, but this did not detract from my enjoyment of this superb story. It does in fact actually make the book more enjoyable, as you realise what actually went on in the different years and locations.
At the beginning of the book it's 1964 in Cornwall, England and Iris is wondering about her past, she already knows that she is adopted, but there are so many unanswered questions, and in Paris, France 1938, Nora is doing a French cookery course and her friend Sabine is living nearby with her husband Emil. After the death of one of his relatives Emil makes the decision that they will move from Paris to Colmar. Pregnant and living with her husband's family in Colmar, on the border of Germany, Sabine is not happy but Emil says they have to go as Albert wanted him to follow into the family boot making business.
As war breaks out in France, Sabine has to make a heartbreaking decision, without her husband's support she has to let one of her twin daughters return to England with Nora, as her daughter was born with a cleft palate and in her husband's "German eyes" she is not worth being alive as she is imperfect!
Nora is left with a young baby to look after and arrange hospital treatment, is she able to do this, a single, unmarried woman with a French baby?
As you read through the book you find yourself rooting for the characters. I thought Nora had a lot of courage and commitment to do what she did, on her own and Sabine on her own has her own demons to fight, especially when her husband appears again, full of Nazi patriotism. Will everyone survive? will the twins meet each other again?
A truly enchanting and captivating historical novel by Juliet Greenwood which held my attention all the way through, in fact I think this is her best book yet and definitely my favourite book of 2023, and a book that I will read again in a few years time.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, Juliet is a wonderful story teller making the characters come to life and believable.
This is an emotional story of a family torn apart by war and how twin sisters Valerie and Violette were separated soon after birth just as war broke out in France.
It tells the story of how their families survived the ravages of war. It is beautifully told following both lives of the sisters one in France and one in England, it then brings them together for a heart warming conclusion.
This one definitely needs to be read with tissues at the ready.
Well done Juliet.
To sum up ‘The Last Train from France’ by Juliet Greenwood, it is quite honestly, the best book I’ve read in a long time. I simply did not want to put it down.
The story revolves around Iris, who has always known she was adopted, but neither of her parents want to answer Iris’s questions about the past. All she knows about her origin is on the official adoption papers which said ‘Baby girl, France 1939’ but who were her real parents and why the secrecy, while appreciating it has probably much to do with the uncertain early days of WWII.
From a tin of letters handed to her by her mother, Iris begins to understand the circumstances behind her story. These parts of the book are written from the point of view of the people involved and it is these parts that carry the story along. The uncertainty of the times, the necessity of Sabine (her real mother) in fleeing the onslaught of the Nazis, Nora’s inexperience of looking after a baby, is what makes the book so riveting and what commanded my attention.
I kept wanting to read more to find out how the protagonists fared! So, many, many thanks Juliet Greenwood for a wonderful story.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story of Nora and Sabine, Valerie and Violette. It is a dual timeline, which I'm not usually a fan of, but for this particular book it works well.
It is a very heart rendering story of love. It takes you from the very beginning of the war, to decades after. It is very well written, and takes the reader through every emotion possible, from love, to horror, but also hope and despair.
If you enjoy WW2 fiction then you will love this book. I couldn't wait to find out what happened to them....but I also didn't want it to end!
I am a big fan of Juliet Greenwood and couldn't wait to read her latest novel!
It is a time slip novel alternating from WW2 and the Sixties. So many emotions feature throughout and the story revolves around two familes, especually sisters Nora and Sabine.
Sabine who is in France when war breaks out has twin daughters, one of whom is born with a cleft palate. She asks her sister Nora to take one of the twins to the UK where she will hopefully be treated much better. We remember how the Germans treated babies who were not born 'perfect.'
Back to the 60s and Iris who knows she is adopted visits her mother in Cornwall and wants answers to the mystery surrounding her adoption.
Beautifully told, this novel captures your heartand I certainly didn't want it to end! It is worthy of 5 stars.
I have read many of Juliet Greenwood's novels over the years and have enjoyed every one. The Last Train From Paris had me hooked from the start.
Alternating between the War years of WW2 and 60's Britain the novel revolves around two families including sisters, Sabine and Nora. Sabine gives birth to twins Valerie and Violette in France at the start of the war. Violette is born with a cleft palate and Nora returns to the UK where she hopes Violette will have a better chance of surviving.
Back to the 60s and Iris rwho is adopted returns Cornwall where her adoptive mother holds many secrrets. Iris is determined to find out what happened to her and why.
A thoroughly absorbing novel and I can guarantee you will feel all sorts of emotions reading this.
Well done Juliet - I can't wait for the next novel!!
Juliet Greenwood is a true storyteller. This story follows the lives of two women who become friends just before the the start of World War Two.
Beginning in Paris the tale switches between France & England. The women are forced to make decisions that will not only affect them but also their families.
Separated when the war starts it follows the women through the war and beyond. This is the sort of book that you want to read quickly to find out what happens but are sad when it is finished.
I can recommend it.
Absolutely loved this book, yet again Juliet has outdone herself.
The story takes you back to just before WW2 started in Europe and focuses on 2 young women of similar ages, one an English girl Nora, longing to become a chef of French cuisine and the other, Sabine, a French aspiring journalist, who is married and unexpectedly pregnant.
The birth of twins, one with a disfigurement, and the rumours of war leads to one of the twins being taken to England for an operation by Nora (the upcoming French chef).
But before you get to their story it starts off in the sixties in Cornwall with Iris (who is adopted) finding out her story from her mum.
The whole story is about choices, some terrible, that people had to make in order for others to survive in the horrors of ww2.
Couldn't put the book down. Brilliant read.
Juliet Greenwood has a lovely, lyrical quality to her writing in this novel which captivates the reader. She transported me to Paris – a city that I once lived in. All the female characters are strong and I became absorbed in their personalities and life choices amidst the backdrop of memory and reality of 1939 – the year that war was declared with Nazi Germany.
Juliet Greenwood moves seamlessly between Cornwall in the 60s and Paris in the late 30s evoking the landscape and atmosphere of both those beautiful but very different places.
I was gripped from the opening sentence and was engrossed by this thought-provoking novel. It made me laugh, cry, gasp, fear : it truly is a compelling story.
You won't be able to put it down!
What a fantastic insight into how people suffered and survived both sides of the channel during World War Two.
This tells the stories of two women and what they have to do for beautiful baby twin girls to be able to live despite their father being for the enemy.
I was gripped by the characters and how strong a mother’s love is especially during desperate times. Nora and Sabine were new friends but Sabine put all her trust into Nora a young girl just starting out on her adult life.
Both women put their lives and dreams aside to care for and love these two tiny babies born at the start of one of the worst times.
A great read that I highly recommend I have also posted this on Amazon and Goodreads
Thank you for giving me the chance to read and review this book I loved it.
You can buy the paperback directly from Amazon.