Book Reviews,  Politics,  Resistance

A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead | Book Review

A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead | Book Review A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead
Series: The Resistance Trilogy Book 1
Genres: History, Non-Fiction
Original Publication Date: 2011
Source: I purchased this book
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Find the Author: Website, Goodreads, Amazon
four-stars

A Train in Winter: In January 1943, 230 women of the French Resistance were sent to the death camps by the Nazis who had invaded and occupied their country. This is their story, told in full for the first time—a searing and unforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival, and the power of friendship. Caroline Moorehead, a distinguished biographer, human rights journalist, and the author of Dancing to the Precipice and Human Cargo, brings to life an extraordinary story that readers will find an essential addition to our retelling of the history of World War II—a riveting, rediscovered story of courageous women who sacrificed everything to combat the march of evil across the world.

A Train In Winter by Caroline Moorehead

A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead is the gripping story of a group of women who resisted fascism in Vichy France, but ended up in Auschwitz.

Many of the women profiled in this book were Communists who were alarmed by the Nazis who had been invading country after country.

Hitler then invaded France:

The resisters in this book were temporarily appeased by the German-Soviet Pact.

But then Hitler broke the pact by invading The Soviet Union.

While most of the French population was in shock over the easy breach of the Maginot Line, they tried to just go about their daily lives as best they could. After all, the Nazis had invaded multiple countries and nothing had been done to stop him.

How aware were they that their OWN government – the Vichy government – was collaborating with the Nazis?

Two Sets Of Enemies

However, the women in this book (along with many men) decided to RESIST the Nazis. This was doubly difficult in France because the Vichy government was COLLABORATING with the Nazis.

The French Resistance was becoming more and more active:

You had two sets of enemies. The Vichy government could be just as ruthless and vicious as the German Nazis.

The women profiled in this book were put in Auschwitz and other concentration camps ONLY because they resisted the Nazis and for no other reason.

The youngest of these was a 16-year-old schoolgirl called Rosa Floch, who was picked up as she was writing ‘Vice les Anglais!’ on the walls of her lycée. The eldest was a 44-year-old farmer’s wife, Madeleine Normand.

This book is interesting because when Moorehead was doing research for this book, some of the members of this group who survived Auschwitz were still alive (many in their 80s and 90s).

She was able to interview some of them.

Analysis

I found this book to be DEVASTATING. It changed my life.

I realized that we MUST fight fascism no matter what.

This is especially important today, because there is a rise in fascist and authoritarian governments around the world.

Further Reading

Please read my other posts on RESISTANCE and politics:

Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II by Robert Matzen

State of the Blog Address 2024

World Press Freedom Day 2024

Heronfield by Dorothy Balchin | Book Review

Marie: A True Story by Peter Maas | Book Review

Democracy Dies in Darkness

How the Good Guys Finally Won: Notes From An Impeachment Summer by Jimmy Breslin | Book Review

#FreePress

All the President’s Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein | Book Review

World Press Freedom Day 2018

and some other book reviews:

Tisha: The Wonderful True Love Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaskan Wilderness

Diary of a Mad Housewife by Sue Kaufman.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp

and check out my other blog:

March For Our Lives in Morristown!

The Haunted Deserted Village of Feltville and the Enchanted Forest 2023 | Berkeley Heights, New Jersey

Delicious Orchards 2023 | Colts Neck, New Jersey

First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen and the Spooky Graveyard 2023 | Belvidere, New Jersey

The Historic Cooper Gristmill | Chester Township, New Jersey

The Little Red Schoolhouse | Florham Park, New Jersey

Clara Barton Schoolhouse | Bordentown, New Jersey

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital Is About To Be Torn Down 2015 | Morris Plains, New Jersey

Thank you for reading The Literary Lioness!

About Caroline Moorehead

Caroline Moorehead is the New York Times bestselling author of Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France; A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France; and Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

I love books, writing, film, and television.

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