I think most of us have read our share of historical fiction. And a lot of it centers on WWII. Well, Meg Waite Clayton's The Last Train to London is certainly in that category. But that's where the similarities end. First of all, the story does not take place in France or Germany. It mostly happens in Austria. Second, the story starts in 1936 and ends in 1940. Most historical fiction runs during the war itself. Third, this is all about a Dutch woman, Truus Wijsmuller-Meijer, who saved thousands of Jewish children. An historical fiction writer by the name of Kristin Hannah (ever heard of The Nightingale and The Great Alone? uh...yeah) said: "An absolutely fascinating, beautifully rendered story of love, loss, and heroism in the dark days leading up to World War II."
I'm not going to post the blurb about the book. I think you can get the gist from the 1st paragraph. But let me give you some observations about the book along with some practical matters relating to publication, book tour, and distribution. First, some of my thoughts about The Last Train to London:
1. It's a story that I'm pretty sure has never been told.
2. The amount of research that went into this book is mind-boggling.
3. I had my share of emotional reactions, but I don't typically cry. There is a scene where I actually did cry. And I am perfectly fine with that!
4. Meg is such a darn good writer. So if you combine good writing with great storytelling and fascinating material, The Last Train to London is what you get.
Now on to non-content considerations:
1. The book is available September 10. You can, of course, preorder it.
2. Meg's launch will be at Books, Inc. in Palo Alto on Monday, September 9, at 7:00. Everybody is welcome.
3. Meg will also be in Northern California bookstores on September 10, 11, 12, 20, 24, and 26 (you can go on her website for locations).
4. Bookstores have made Last Train an Indie pick for September.
5. Booklist has given it a starred rating.
6. Publisher's Weekly calls it "standout historical fiction."
7. It's being published in 19 languages.
8. Meg's film rep will be presenting it to the studios.
9. Here's the link to Meg's website: The Last Train to London
10. And, finally, her screenplay version of the book has earned her a spot in The Writer's Lab, sponsored by Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.
Is that enough publishing bling for you? People, this one will grab you. Get a copy on September 10 so that you can start reading it right away!