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The Child On Platform One: Inspired by the children who escaped the Holocaust

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Inspired by the real-life escape of thousands of Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Europe on the Kindertransport trains to London, the new novel from the author of The Oceans Between Us Gill Thompson. For readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz Heather Morris, The Choice Edith Eger and Lilac Girls Martha Hall Kelly. Prague 1939. Young mother Eva has a secret from her Inspired by the real-life escape of thousands of Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Europe on the Kindertransport trains to London, the new novel from the author of The Oceans Between Us Gill Thompson. For readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz Heather Morris, The Choice Edith Eger and Lilac Girls Martha Hall Kelly. Prague 1939. Young mother Eva has a secret from her past. When the Nazis invade, Eva knows the only way to keep her daughter Miriam safe is to send her away - even if it means never seeing her again. But when Eva is taken to a concentration camp, her secret is at risk of being exposed.In London, Pamela volunteers to help find places for the Jewish children arrived from Europe. Befriending one unclaimed little girl, Pamela brings her home. It is only when her young son enlists in the RAF that Pamela realises how easily her own world could come crashing down. Praise for Gill Thompson's The Oceans Between Us 'A warm-hearted tale of love, loss and indefatigable human spirit' Kathryn Hughes'A heartrending story' Jane Corry'Gill Thompson has brought us a a beautiful tale of a mother's love whilst also tackling a very dark and awful period in British and Australian history. A wonderful book. Full of emotion, heart, joy and sorrow' Emma's Bookish Corner'I flew through this emotional book with a lump in my heart and watery eyes' Between My Lines'A heart-wrenching debut novel. A story based on actual events which will have you glued to the pages. I was unable to put the book down. Outstanding' Waggy Tales blog'A story that will touch every reader's heart' By The Letter Book Reviews


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Inspired by the real-life escape of thousands of Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Europe on the Kindertransport trains to London, the new novel from the author of The Oceans Between Us Gill Thompson. For readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz Heather Morris, The Choice Edith Eger and Lilac Girls Martha Hall Kelly. Prague 1939. Young mother Eva has a secret from her Inspired by the real-life escape of thousands of Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Europe on the Kindertransport trains to London, the new novel from the author of The Oceans Between Us Gill Thompson. For readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz Heather Morris, The Choice Edith Eger and Lilac Girls Martha Hall Kelly. Prague 1939. Young mother Eva has a secret from her past. When the Nazis invade, Eva knows the only way to keep her daughter Miriam safe is to send her away - even if it means never seeing her again. But when Eva is taken to a concentration camp, her secret is at risk of being exposed.In London, Pamela volunteers to help find places for the Jewish children arrived from Europe. Befriending one unclaimed little girl, Pamela brings her home. It is only when her young son enlists in the RAF that Pamela realises how easily her own world could come crashing down. Praise for Gill Thompson's The Oceans Between Us 'A warm-hearted tale of love, loss and indefatigable human spirit' Kathryn Hughes'A heartrending story' Jane Corry'Gill Thompson has brought us a a beautiful tale of a mother's love whilst also tackling a very dark and awful period in British and Australian history. A wonderful book. Full of emotion, heart, joy and sorrow' Emma's Bookish Corner'I flew through this emotional book with a lump in my heart and watery eyes' Between My Lines'A heart-wrenching debut novel. A story based on actual events which will have you glued to the pages. I was unable to put the book down. Outstanding' Waggy Tales blog'A story that will touch every reader's heart' By The Letter Book Reviews

30 review for The Child On Platform One: Inspired by the children who escaped the Holocaust

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Thank you, Mobius Books, for the gifted copy. Set during the Nazi occupation, The Child on Platform One is about the escape by train of thousands of Jewish children to London. As one can imagine, this story is harrowing and tense, but also filled with love, hope, and inspiration. This is the first novel I’ve read by Gill Thompson, and I’m now a huge fan. I was riveted by this story and Thompson’s manner of telling it. I’ve read other books centered on the children and the trains, but this story a Thank you, Mobius Books, for the gifted copy. Set during the Nazi occupation, The Child on Platform One is about the escape by train of thousands of Jewish children to London. As one can imagine, this story is harrowing and tense, but also filled with love, hope, and inspiration. This is the first novel I’ve read by Gill Thompson, and I’m now a huge fan. I was riveted by this story and Thompson’s manner of telling it. I’ve read other books centered on the children and the trains, but this story and angle felt fresh entirely. Overall, it’s a strong, well-written, and heartwarming story. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Books like this one are so important to read. It may be fiction but sadly the camps and and the horrific treatment of human beings, is very real. It’s a reminder of what people went through and how we should never let history repeat itself. Pamela and Eva have very different lives. What they do have in common, is the love for their children. Eva, to be able to send her child to a strange country knowing no one, was incredibly brave. Pamela on the other hand, has just as much cause for concern whe Books like this one are so important to read. It may be fiction but sadly the camps and and the horrific treatment of human beings, is very real. It’s a reminder of what people went through and how we should never let history repeat itself. Pamela and Eva have very different lives. What they do have in common, is the love for their children. Eva, to be able to send her child to a strange country knowing no one, was incredibly brave. Pamela on the other hand, has just as much cause for concern when her son Will enlists with the RAF. My heart went out to both women. Whilst the story is set during war time, we do get to see a certain part of camp life and the horrific treatment to Jewish people. The story though focuses more on what life is like outside it. For Miriam a young girl, living with strangers and adapting to life without her family. For Pamela, opening her home to a Jewish child and wanting to do more in the war effort. I loved how music for Eva, helped with her time in the camps as well as for many other prisoners. In such a dire environment, it gave them comfort and hope. Parts of the story do make for some uncomfortable reading due to the nature of the story but overall it gives hope and I loved seeing people coming together and the relationships and bonds that are formed. The Child On Platfrom One is an inspirational, harrowing and emotional read. My heart went out to the characters in this novel and I thought I had held my emotions quite well through out but the epilogue literally broke me. The impact of what the characters had been through, hit me full force at this moment whilst I refelected on all I had read. A powerful and moving novel. My thanks to Anne Cater, Headline Books and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    “The Child on Platform One” by Gill Thompson is a story based on actual events. The story begins in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1930. Based on true events that actually happened, Ms. Thompson has woven a truly incredible story. She has taken characters and woven their lives in and around tragic and true events that occurred during W.W.II. I was intrigued as I read about the families of Pamela and Hugh, from Hampstead, London, England, Eva and Josef from Prague. These two families became intertwine “The Child on Platform One” by Gill Thompson is a story based on actual events. The story begins in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1930. Based on true events that actually happened, Ms. Thompson has woven a truly incredible story. She has taken characters and woven their lives in and around tragic and true events that occurred during W.W.II. I was intrigued as I read about the families of Pamela and Hugh, from Hampstead, London, England, Eva and Josef from Prague. These two families became intertwined as the story of some Jewish children who were able to escape the Holocaust unfolded. Tragic events brought these two families together and inevitably their stories together made up the fascinating and lovely novel. I was riveted to the development of historical events and the various ways the ordinary citizens had to deal with them. I loved the book and the way it was written. I will be reading more novels by Gill Thompson in the future as her interweaving of events with fictional characters is remarkable. I downloaded a Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for my personal review. You can find this review on my blog at https://wp.me/p2pjIt-z3. Reviews of other books can be found at http://imhookedonbooks.wordpress.com.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Louise Fein

    Gill Thompson’s second novel tackles the subject matter of refugees and Jewish ghettoes during Nazi era Czechoslovakia with gentle, beautiful prose. Starting the book with a horrific event, I was hooked from page one until the thrilling last few chapters. Detailed and well researched, I really enjoyed this, at times, painful but also heartwarming book. I’m looking forward to this author’s next novel.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Garry Ragan

    Very good historical fiction loosely based on actual events. Especially recommended to those who are intrigued by Holocaust survivors and their stories.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    This is such a good story. It was written very well. I can tell a lot of research went into it. A great development in the characters made you feel for them even more. I highly recommend this Historical Fiction. Thank you so much, Gill Thompson, the publisher, and NetGalley, for giving me the chance to read and review this amazing book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emma Crowley

    Gill Thompson's second novel The Child on Platform One has certainly cemented her as one of my favourite historical fiction authors. Her début The Oceans Between Us was a stunning read and this second story proved to be no different. At times this is a very difficult and heartbreaking read given the subject matter but I am glad the author did not spare the painful and devastating details and experiences the main characters were going through. This is truly an eye opening and powerful read that g Gill Thompson's second novel The Child on Platform One has certainly cemented her as one of my favourite historical fiction authors. Her début The Oceans Between Us was a stunning read and this second story proved to be no different. At times this is a very difficult and heartbreaking read given the subject matter but I am glad the author did not spare the painful and devastating details and experiences the main characters were going through. This is truly an eye opening and powerful read that gives food for thought. We have all read and heard lots of details surrounding the events of World War Two but Gill Thompson takes the reader even further and delves deep into just what Jewish families were forced to endure all because of the insane actions of one man hell bent on domination, destruction and devastation which still has such an impact on so many even to this day. I found myself flying through the chapters because I became so engrossed in the characters and the various strands of the story unfolding before my eyes. The writing was so vivid and realistic that I could picture each setting quite clearly and as the tension, unease and danger was amplified with each chapter the further I progressed through the book, I questioned could there ever be some form of happy ending given all the cruelty and hardship that was unfolding. If the intriguing title doesn't make you sit up and take notice then the extremely hard-hitting prologue will certainly do that. In the city of Prague in 1930, Eva is late returning home from her music lesson. Music is her passion and she hopes she will be able to turn it into something that will fulfil her life when she is older. As she races through the streets to be back before the curfew she takes a short cut through the cemetery which proves to be a very bad idea. Eva is Jewish and her religion proves to be a target on her back. What follows is upsetting to read but it's only as the book progresses that you come to understand how crucial this event was as it forms the basis from which many strands of the story develop and how connections are formed later on. We then move forward to part one which focused on the years 1933-1939 and subsequently there are a further two parts. I would have loved within each part for specific years or dates to be mentioned as I found in the beginning as I settled into the rhythm and flow of the story that chapters could jump forward a year or two without you even realising it and you would have only become familiar with the characters and what they were doing and then within a turn of a page their situation had changed and the time frame had significantly moved forward. Apart from this issue, which I did become accustomed to, I thought this was an excellent read and a real worthwhile inclusion to the genre where the subject matter has already been extensively written about. In 1933 things have changed for Eva and she is married to Josef, a widower significantly older than her. He is a scientist with a good job working at the university and Eva looks after the house. I instantly wondered what had happened to Eva in the intervening years that the young girl with such promise and hopes and dreams with regards to her music now seemed to be stuck in not a loveless marriage as such but one which perhaps was not what she had wished for her if that had been her first choice of direction for her life. Josef is kind and was willing to take her in but most of the time she feels lifeless and numb and she has suppressed painful and disturbing memories. The extent and ramifications of these memories will be exposed and felt much later in the novel and as I came to understand why Eva felt the way she did things really made sense and I came to understand what a truly remarkable, resilient and self sacrificing woman she truly was. There are rumblings of discontent in Czechoslovakia as Hitler, the new German chancellor, begins to express his feelings about Jews and with the introduction of the Nuremberg Laws life will never be the same again When Eva gives birth to a daughter, Miriam, little does she realise the huge sacrifice she will have to make and the consequences it will have.What follows over the course of several years as the country is invaded and war declared is a harrowing and heartbreaking story but at the same time it is one of great courage in the face of adversity. Hope always lingers in the most sad, hard and upsetting of times and as you come to view Eva as a friend you cross your fingers that something positive will occur. Eva is soon faced with a choice and one she must make on her own even though her mother is in on the secret. Josef refuses to believe that anything bad can happen to them given his high position in the university but Eva is wise and can see the bigger picture. She knows once the Germans cement their mark that really all bets are off. OK she didn't know what horrors would be inflicted upon masses of innocent people but she did understand that Miriam needed to be kept safe and as a mother she made the ultimate decision. She heard of a man helping to transport people out of Prague to safety in England and she knew given the daily news of atrocities and rules being enforced that her daughter was her priority and that she needed to leave. I can't imagine what it must have been like to have to say goodbye to your own flesh and blood never knowing would that be the last time you held them in your arms as you tried to imprint their face on your mind. Eva without doubt was brave and courageous always putting others including her mother and father as well as Miriam before her own needs. Told concurrently alongside Eva's story is the story of Pamela who is married to Hugh who works in the Foreign Office. They have a son, Will, who is away at boarding school so Pamela occupies her days volunteering organising clothes for those children sent to England due to increasing hostilities on the continent. There is a restlessness about Pamela as if she is not quite sure what she needs to be doing in life given the day to day care of Will is no longer there. But similar to Eva I felt there was a kind, brave and determined woman waiting to emerge and given the circumstances that unfold when war breaks out, it seems this is her opportunity to show that she is more than just a housewife. She helps with the Jewish Kindertransport and through some sort of fate, Pamela and Hugh take in Miriam. Over the period of the war they treat her like one of their own and give her the best opportunities possible but as news emerges of what has gone on behind closed doors in Poland and Czechoslovakia everyone wonders will Miriam ever be able to return to some sort of normality. As much as I liked reading about Pamela and her perspective of the story I felt at times that some of her chapters did seem a like a bit of filling in as there was some repetition or else not much was happening from her end. I found myself more eager to get back to what Eva and her family were experiencing once the Germans invaded. When I reached the conclusion of the novel it only really made sense to me why Pamela had to be there as such a big part of the overall book because without her we firstly would not have had the take on war from the English perspective and secondly connections that emerged in the later chapters would not have been able to occur only for the fact that Pamela did feature in the book. But really it was Eva and her experiences right from the prologue that thoroughly captured my attention and had my heart in my mouth on more than one occasion. The sheer terror, guilt, fear, hunger, horror and danger felt by her oozed from almost every page. All the familiarity, love and support she had ever felt was whipped from underneath her not to mention her beloved daughter was gone to a different country. It was difficult to read of the daily struggle just to keep going given the rampant illness, infections and appalling conditions she and so many others were forced to endure. But her love for music and her strength of character and spirit always shone through. There was a very very surprising turn of events at about the three quarter way mark that made me reassess the whole book and in a way given how certain things turned out I am glad that this twist did occur because other elements were just too heartbreaking to fully comprehend. Gill Thompson kept me in suspense throughout and showed how through such suffering, misery, misfortune, torture and distress that there can be a ray of hope and happiness in the murkiest of times and that hardship can produce all kinds of courage. There are three true/real life strands that feature throughout the story as mentioned in the end notes and I was surprised to read they were actual fact as I had never heard about them before which only goes to prove the extensive research undertaken by Gill Thompson in order to write this excellent book which deserves huge success. You will be easily taken in by the story and amazed at the depths of courage displayed. It's definitely well worth a read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joann

    I love listening to these 5 star audibles while also learning a bit of history. Many years ago I do remember seeing something about the orchestra in one of Hitler's camps. The conditions at the Terezin camp seemed to be a bit better than others and they also used it as propaganda. You have two story-lines weaving through this book. Prague 1939, where you have a young mother, Eva, who has a secret from her teen-age years and now she is the mother of Miriam. Eva knows the only way to keep her daug I love listening to these 5 star audibles while also learning a bit of history. Many years ago I do remember seeing something about the orchestra in one of Hitler's camps. The conditions at the Terezin camp seemed to be a bit better than others and they also used it as propaganda. You have two story-lines weaving through this book. Prague 1939, where you have a young mother, Eva, who has a secret from her teen-age years and now she is the mother of Miriam. Eva knows the only way to keep her daughter safe is to send her away - even if it means never seeing her again. In London, we meet Pamela who volunteers to find places for the Jewish children who are put on the Kinder-transport Program. I won't weigh this review down with anymore other than to say it was an awesome read and very interesting and kept me engaged the whole time. If you are at all interested in WW2 history and want to read a satisfying book, then you should try one this one. The author did an amazing job.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    The Child On Platform One: by Gill Thompson was a beautifully written book with so much depth of information throughout especially as it was based on an actual story from World War 2 which made it more of a great read. But, you will need tissues and lots of them. Books like this should be read and we should never forget what happened all those years ago. I highly recommend this book and it will be with me for a very long time Big Thank you to NetGalley and Headline Publishing for the opportunity The Child On Platform One: by Gill Thompson was a beautifully written book with so much depth of information throughout especially as it was based on an actual story from World War 2 which made it more of a great read. But, you will need tissues and lots of them. Books like this should be read and we should never forget what happened all those years ago. I highly recommend this book and it will be with me for a very long time Big Thank you to NetGalley and Headline Publishing for the opportunity to read and review it prior to its publication date all opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carlene Stephen

    Such a well written book, the real life stories threaded throughout the book are absolutely heartbreaking, loved it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sandra McKenna

    Such a brilliant read. A brilliant, but at times a heartwrenching story about life for the Jewish community in Czechoslovakia prior to, during and following World War II. Hundreds of children were evacuated, not knowing if they would ever see their families again. This story is centred around one of them, and her family. So well written and researched, this is a book I would highly recommend.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Such a gem of a story!! I was so invested in and loved all of the characters... getting thoroughly engrossed in each of their stories. I can tell a lot of research went into this book, the events and atmosphere of the times felt authentic. Oh, and that ending! 5 stars Thanks netgalley for giving me the advanced PDF so that I can share my opinions with y'all

  13. 4 out of 5

    Georgina

    ‘The child on platform one’ follows a multitude of characters, but focuses primarily on two mothers and their experiences during WW2 -Czech Jew Eva, mother to Miriam, and British Quaker Pamela, mother to Will. These women are different in almost every way, except for one: their desire to ensure their children’s wellbeing throughout a dark and dangerous time. Over the course of the novel, the lives of these two women and those closest to them intersect, and it was amazing to see the common threats ‘The child on platform one’ follows a multitude of characters, but focuses primarily on two mothers and their experiences during WW2 -Czech Jew Eva, mother to Miriam, and British Quaker Pamela, mother to Will. These women are different in almost every way, except for one: their desire to ensure their children’s wellbeing throughout a dark and dangerous time. Over the course of the novel, the lives of these two women and those closest to them intersect, and it was amazing to see the common threats emerging in the most different of characters. I especially loved learning about Pamela’s Quaker faith, which is something I am quite unfamiliar with, which really is a bit shameful considering the huge and very important role I’ve now learnt that they played in the war. The plot is something I won’t focus on, as there are several surprises along the way that I wouldn’t want to ruin. What I will say though is that while the book is hard at times, it is also incredibly moving. While it is at times heartbreaking, it is also heartwarming. And while is discusses one of the darkest times in modern history, it is still somehow incredibly uplifting - a truly inspirational tale of survival in the bleakest of times. In the authors note section at the end, Thompson acknowledges that the book contains events that may seem implausible, and it is indeed shocking to think that the events of this novel took place only 80 years ago. But they did. All of the significant events of this novel are historically accurate, and that is something that I think is very powerful. The world has seemed a little darker lately, and sadly it is now more than ever, books like this are so so important. We need to look to the past, to learn from our mistakes and join together in refusing to allow them to ever be repeated. We need read books like this that remind us what a privilege it is to be alive, and to be safe. We need to remember the simple message that life is a gift, and that we should treasure each other every day that we can.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    The Child on Platform One belongs most definitely on my list of “Ten Best Books” of 2019. It has all the right ingredients: excellent writing, a riveting story, three dimensional characters; the basics for a good book. To me, what moves a book from good to excellent is that it takes me into a sphere I knew nothing about. This book takes me into two such areas. Of course, I had heard of the Kindertransport trains by which thousands of Jewish children were able to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. In th The Child on Platform One belongs most definitely on my list of “Ten Best Books” of 2019. It has all the right ingredients: excellent writing, a riveting story, three dimensional characters; the basics for a good book. To me, what moves a book from good to excellent is that it takes me into a sphere I knew nothing about. This book takes me into two such areas. Of course, I had heard of the Kindertransport trains by which thousands of Jewish children were able to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. In this story, Eva of Prague does just that, and her agony on sending her daughter Miriam off into the unknown, to a safe life in London, is palpable. As Eva’s own life descends into tragedy, the reader is taken on a heart-wrenching journey right into the horror of camp life. And yes, this is a good thing, if done sensitively, as in this book. It helps us to remember never to take the rights, privileges and comforts we enjoy today for granted, and to face out own challenges with strength and courage. Personally, such remembrance makes me a better person. The second new territory for me is based on something that has always intrigued me: the healing power of music, in this case, as it is applied in a place we can only call hell. I already knew of the camp orchestra of Auschwitz, of how Jewish prisoners were permitted to have instruments and how they found some emotional comfort in music. This book focusses on the real-life choir of the Theresienstadt camp, which I had not heard of previously. I could almost hear the captive Jews’ hearts soaring as they raised their voices in song, not only finding strength and solace in performing Verdi’s Requiem, but, as the author states in her notes, “ironically and subversively declaring God’s judgment on the Germans.” In fact, I had to go and listen to that music myself to fully immerse myself in the emotion of that performance. What higher recommendation can I give!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Another tale of a young Jewish family & how they cope with the invasion by the Nazi's. Well done but I would have liked a little more info about the characters at the end. Another tale of a young Jewish family & how they cope with the invasion by the Nazi's. Well done but I would have liked a little more info about the characters at the end.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lucille

    I particularly like The Child on Platform One because it covers one of the most heroic achievements of the Second World War - the efforts made to get Jewish children safely out of Nazi-occupied Europe. The book also focuses on Prague, in Czechoslovakia, and the concentration camp Terezin where, uniquely in their darkest hours, the Jewish inmates were allowed to play music. The main character is Eva, who will do anything to protect her daughter Miriam. Then there is Pamela in London who takes car I particularly like The Child on Platform One because it covers one of the most heroic achievements of the Second World War - the efforts made to get Jewish children safely out of Nazi-occupied Europe. The book also focuses on Prague, in Czechoslovakia, and the concentration camp Terezin where, uniquely in their darkest hours, the Jewish inmates were allowed to play music. The main character is Eva, who will do anything to protect her daughter Miriam. Then there is Pamela in London who takes care of Miriam when she arrives on the kindertransport. There is much sadness which is to be expected but also hope. Unlike so many other recent Holocaust novels this one does not focus on one particular person's embellished 'real-life' story, which I felt was a bonus. Instead, impeccable research combined with empathy makes this a book I highly recommend.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi Siegfried

    Loved it! This book brought me back to my visit to Theresienstadt several years ago. The author's description is historically correct.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Traceysyearinbooks

    Wow... What a fantastic book. This book is based on true events that happened during WWII. The author has written an incredible story, which is inspirational, emotional and harrowing. As a mother, this book broke my heart. This is such a page turner and I just couldn’t stop reading it. This book will stay with me for a very long time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bec

    4.5 stars In Gill Thompson's second novel, we learn about another important part of the Holocaust- the children who escaped. Eva is a prodigee pianist living in Prague in the 1930's. One evening, walking home, she is attacked and raped by a German soldier. She falls pregnant, and has to give up her daughter. When there is mention of a war some years later, Eva who is now married to Josef and has another daughter, decides to send their little girl Miriam to the safety of England. Whilst their daug 4.5 stars In Gill Thompson's second novel, we learn about another important part of the Holocaust- the children who escaped. Eva is a prodigee pianist living in Prague in the 1930's. One evening, walking home, she is attacked and raped by a German soldier. She falls pregnant, and has to give up her daughter. When there is mention of a war some years later, Eva who is now married to Josef and has another daughter, decides to send their little girl Miriam to the safety of England. Whilst their daughter is safe, Eva and Josef aren't. Soon they and Eva's parents are sent to a concertration camp (Terezin) in Czechoslovakia. Whilst imprisoned, Eva's past soon catches up with her. I love a good War War 2 focused novel and this exceeds expectations. I learnt about Czechoslovakia's role in the war. I wasn't aware that the Jewish in this sovereign state weren't excempt from the discrimination that other countries faced. I was also surprised to find that Czechoslovakia also had concertration camps. These parts were well researched. I also couldn't imagine sending a child away knowing you possibly wouldn't see them again. Some critisms: We never did find out what occured to those children on the missing train, and I was wondering throughout what a Quaker was. Further research informed me that is a branch of Christianity. It also was pretty much implied that the Denison's son was gay. I wish that this was explored further. Whilst well written and moving, I enjoyed Thompson's first novel more.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Helen Hollick

    A heart-wrenching and heartwarming novel of World War II, The Child on Platform One weaves together the stories of two families and their devastating experiences during the darkest of times. And yet, because the characters are so beautifully crafted, and because the theme of hope through art illuminates the indomitable spirit of survival, this book is impossible to put down. We follow two mothers, Pamela in London and Eva in Prague, as they are forced into making the most difficult decisions of A heart-wrenching and heartwarming novel of World War II, The Child on Platform One weaves together the stories of two families and their devastating experiences during the darkest of times. And yet, because the characters are so beautifully crafted, and because the theme of hope through art illuminates the indomitable spirit of survival, this book is impossible to put down. We follow two mothers, Pamela in London and Eva in Prague, as they are forced into making the most difficult decisions of their lives, finding a wellspring of hidden courage within themselves. There are scenes of devastating evil and brutality, and moments of infinite joy--and Ms Thompson writes both with sensitivity and honesty. Drawing on real incidents from the appalling eradication of the Jewish population, and supplemental research that supports captivating prose, the novel takes us on an inevitable journey to the horrors of the Nazi death camps, while bringing to light little-known insights into the bonds of humanity formed through music and compassion. This is a story that has been told many times, and yet the inevitability of the outcome does not detract from the absorbing plot and compelling characters. The Child on Platform One opens a door to a time that must never be repeated nor forgotten, allowing readers to honour the past and keep its lessons alive. Highly recommend. Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Rickman

    I randomly bought this book when it was on sale in the Book app on my iPad and WOW I'm so happy I did. I'm having a hard time putting into words how much this book impacted me. Simply, I can't believe it was not more popular. This book made me cry multiple times and pulled out my heart, while somehow still left me happy at the end. And PHEW, I need a glass of wine after that epilogue. Miriam being sent away by her mother, Eva, to save her from the Holocaust was part of a larger true story. As dis I randomly bought this book when it was on sale in the Book app on my iPad and WOW I'm so happy I did. I'm having a hard time putting into words how much this book impacted me. Simply, I can't believe it was not more popular. This book made me cry multiple times and pulled out my heart, while somehow still left me happy at the end. And PHEW, I need a glass of wine after that epilogue. Miriam being sent away by her mother, Eva, to save her from the Holocaust was part of a larger true story. As discussed in the Author's Note, Chez Jewish children were saved from imminent death thanks to the Kindertransport. They were sent by their families to live with other families in Britain to keep them safe. Many never saw their parents again. Books like this are incredibly difficult to read but SO important to learn from, we should never allow this to repeat. This book also taught me about the Nazi Propaganda coming from the Terezin concentration camp in Prague, showing everyone that jews are being treated well! While really they were being murdered by the millions. This book takes a look at how war affects us more than we think and more people than we think. I highly recommend this book as an educational, emotional, wonderful WWII historical fiction taking place around real events.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Richard Buxton

    The Child on Platform One alternates between English and Czech settings initially in the run up to WWII, then through the war and its aftermath. It tells, primarily through female protagonists, not only the heart-rending story of how so many Czech children were brought to Britain and beyond the clutches of the Nazis, but also of the incredible bravery and spirit of those Czech Jews who were held in the concentration camp of Terezin. I thought the book a wonderful follow up to The Oceans Between U The Child on Platform One alternates between English and Czech settings initially in the run up to WWII, then through the war and its aftermath. It tells, primarily through female protagonists, not only the heart-rending story of how so many Czech children were brought to Britain and beyond the clutches of the Nazis, but also of the incredible bravery and spirit of those Czech Jews who were held in the concentration camp of Terezin. I thought the book a wonderful follow up to The Oceans Between Us. Gill Thompson has again written a novel based in historical truth that shows, through the way the world treats its children, both the worst and the best of human nature. It’s assuredly written, the use of music as an escape and even as a means of defiance is particularly well depicted. I hadn’t heard of Terezin before picking up this book. I admired the way that the narrative point of view is seamlessly passed between characters as the we progress further into and eventually beyond the war. Gill Thompson, through her characters, has done what the many held in the terrors of World War II had to do; find hope amidst the horror, even if sometimes that hope was for others and not for themselves. Thoroughly recommended.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Adelyne

    I guess the paperback was released ahead of the expected date in September 2020, as it's already available on the shelves. Very well-written work of fiction based (quite strongly I think) off true events that took place during the Holocaust. Thompson has clearly done a fair bit of research, and this shows in the depth of the characters and how well their interactions can be portrayed into the story. The way the two families lives were so intertwined is obviously a work of fiction, but it worked I guess the paperback was released ahead of the expected date in September 2020, as it's already available on the shelves. Very well-written work of fiction based (quite strongly I think) off true events that took place during the Holocaust. Thompson has clearly done a fair bit of research, and this shows in the depth of the characters and how well their interactions can be portrayed into the story. The way the two families lives were so intertwined is obviously a work of fiction, but it worked very well for this narrative. The switching between the scenes of London and Prague was very natural and I didn’t feel like I preferred either storyline – I was equally invested in both – and this to me is the sign of a well-written dual-setting story. The storyline is obviously sad, it was clear from the onset (even the blurb) that there were going to be some painful scenes, but I thought Thompson balanced this well with the more heart-warming family scenes which showed how hard the Czech families were trying to maintain a semblance of normality in pressing times. It felt almost as though I was growing up with Miriam, first in Prague then later in the UK, and the characters were so easy to want to root for. A 5 star read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Rose

    A well-researched and well-written novel, with a compelling story. I particularly liked the opening section where we witness the musical promise of Eva shattered, a promise that has to lie dormant until it brings salvation in seemingly impossible times. At times, the characters have to serve the plot, but there are small domestic moments throughout that keep the characters vivid amidst the fast pace of change and horror they are living through. One moment I enjoyed in particular was when Pamela A well-researched and well-written novel, with a compelling story. I particularly liked the opening section where we witness the musical promise of Eva shattered, a promise that has to lie dormant until it brings salvation in seemingly impossible times. At times, the characters have to serve the plot, but there are small domestic moments throughout that keep the characters vivid amidst the fast pace of change and horror they are living through. One moment I enjoyed in particular was when Pamela starts trying to dig a section of frozen earth on an allotment on Hampstead Heath - a symbol of the tough business of survival when the world seems a cold, dark place. I read this book during the sunny April month of quarantine with much sadness and fear and heartbreak going on in the world, and finished it just after VE day. It made me reflect once again, with a deeper understanding, about those who lived through the two world wars, and, on a personal level, about the experiences of my parents and grandparents.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    The Child on Platform One chronicles the lives of two families before and during WWII; one a upper middle class British family, the other a Jewish family living in Czechoslovakia. Pamila and Hugh are Quakers who live a nice life in London. Hugh works for the government, while Pamela keeps busy with charity work. One of the charities that she is involved with facilitates the Kindertransport, a program put in place to remove Jewish children from countries under siege by the Nazis and rehome them " The Child on Platform One chronicles the lives of two families before and during WWII; one a upper middle class British family, the other a Jewish family living in Czechoslovakia. Pamila and Hugh are Quakers who live a nice life in London. Hugh works for the government, while Pamela keeps busy with charity work. One of the charities that she is involved with facilitates the Kindertransport, a program put in place to remove Jewish children from countries under siege by the Nazis and rehome them "temporarily" in Great Britain with the goal being to keep them safe. Eva and Josef are a Czech Jewish family, and as things heat up for them at home, Eva, who is especially protective of her daughter Miriam due to a trauma she herself suffered as a teen at the hands of a budding Nazi, takes matters into her own hands and against her husband's wishes, sends Miriam to safety. Through a series of circumstances the families become entwined. I loved this book, although like all books about this period and the atrocities suffered by the Jewish people, it is very, very sad in places.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I have been to Prague, and this was a very good story based on fact, even though Gill Thompson used fictional characters. It was also good that the English Family were Quakers and we never hear about how they worked in both wars and did not fight, but they were very brave. You need some tissues as you read this, again Gill Thompson has wrote a compelling story that keeps you griped in the story from the first page, I look forward to more.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jane Ellen Hillis

    A GREAT 6 STAR READ!! I just finished listening/reading this book and I'm very emotional! I want to say something that will compel everyone to read The Child On Platform One. I read a LOT of books in this genre but this book stands out as one of the Best! Great characters, setting, storyline, emotional, and perfect yet realistic ending that will leave you speechless!!! Please Read! I Give it 6 Stars!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Jones

    Great book, I really enjoyed this book. I was an elementary teacher for 36 years and always tried to teach my children history beyond what was in the books. Your book would be a great book for Jr. High students to read. Either in English or History and have discussions every afternoon on what had happened in the book. If you don't have talking points for book clubs or classrooms you should divide some and promote your book to educators. Good luck!!💗

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura Palacios

    When I started reading this book I was a little worried - I thought that this book, like many others, would take me down the dark and terrible path to the concentration camps and then leave me there to imagine the horrors so many innocent people suffered ... in a way it did but only to remind me that all the things I've read about the Holocaust are true and were indeed horrible. The rest of the time I spent watching the lives of each character as they were beautifully and perfectly developed. Th When I started reading this book I was a little worried - I thought that this book, like many others, would take me down the dark and terrible path to the concentration camps and then leave me there to imagine the horrors so many innocent people suffered ... in a way it did but only to remind me that all the things I've read about the Holocaust are true and were indeed horrible. The rest of the time I spent watching the lives of each character as they were beautifully and perfectly developed. The book moved back and forth between many separate lives and it did so very smoothly and every story was tied in to every other story perfectly. A beautifully written book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Anderson

    I am an avid reader of WW2 historical novels. No two are alike. This one is different from others I’ve read in that it tells of Jewish children from Czechoslovakia being sent to England to preserve their lives. The concentration camp in this fact_based book is also different because the Germans allowed musical performances and lectures. A very good read in my opinion.

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