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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,291 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Caroline Moorehead Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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They were teachers, students, chemists, writers, and housewivesa singer at the Paris Opera, a midwife, a dental surgeon. They distributed anti-Nazi leaflets, printed subversive newspapers, hid resisters, spirited Jews to safety, transported weapons, and conveyed clandestine messages. The youngest was a schoolgirl of fifteen who scrawled “V” for victory on the walls of her lycée; the eldest, a farmer’s wife in her sixties who harbored escaped Allied airmen. Strangers to each other, hailing from villages and cities from across France, these brave women were united in hatred and defiance of their Nazi occupiers.

Eventually the Gestapo hunted down 230 of these women and imprisoned them in a fort outside Paris. Separated from home and loved ones, these disparate individuals turned to one another, their common experience conquering divisions of age, education, profession, and class as they found solace and strength in their deep affection and camaraderie. In January 1943, they were sent to their final destination: Auschwitz. Only forty-nine would return to France.

A Train in Winter draws on interviews with these women and their families; German, French, and Polish archives; and World War II resistance organization documents to uncover a dark chapter of history that offers an inspiring portrait of ordinary people, of bravery and survival, and of the remarkable, enduring power of female friendship.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “By turns heartbreaking and inspiring.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Compelling and moving…The literature of wartime France and the Holocaust is by now so vast as to confound the imagination, but when a book as good as this comes along, we are reminded that there is always room for something new…A necessary book.”

    Washington Post

  • “A compelling account of human suffering and courage in the face of appalling brutality. And by the careful use of detail, and an almost obsessive curiosity, Ms. Moorehead has succeeded in frustrating one of the main aims of the Nazis…the memory of ‘le Convoi des 3100’ has not disappeared.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “An extremely moving and intensely personal history of the Auschwitz universe as experienced by these women…A powerful and moving book.”

    Times Literary Supplement (London)

  • “The first complete account of these extraordinary women and, incredibly, over sixty years later we are still learning new and terrible truths about the Holocaust…An important new perspective…Careful research and sensitive retelling.”

    Boston Sunday Globe

  • “As Moorehead delves deeply into the women’s fight for survival, her narrative seamlessly comes together in order to share a significant part of history whose time has come to be heard.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “[A] moving novelistic portrait…An inspiring and fascinating read.”


  • “Haunting account of bravery, friendship, and endurance.”

    Marie Claire

  • “Moorehead…traces the lives and deaths of all her subjects with unswerving candor and compassion…In Moorehead’s telling, neither evil nor good is banal; and if the latter doesn’t always triumph, it certainly inspires.”

    USA Today

  • “Heightened by electrifying, and staggering, detail, Moorehead’s riveting history stands as a luminous testament to the indomitable will to survive and the unbreakable bonds of friendship.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Readers will get a good overview of the historical context and the sacrifices made by women whose motivation was to provide a better world for their country…This book rightfully gives these women—survivors and nonsurvivors alike—their place in our historical memory.” 

    Library Journal

  • “Compelling…Moorehead weaves into her suspenseful, detailed narrative myriad personal stories of friendship, courage, and heartbreak.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “As chronicled by Moorehead with unblinking accuracy, their agonies are appalling to contemplate, their stories of survival and friendship under duress enthralling to hear.”

    More magazine

  • One of the 2011 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Heidi | 2/13/2014

    " I found this book hard to put down, although I will admit that at times I had to stop reading to digest some of what I had read. The hardships that these women faced is hard to imagine. This is a truly amazing and well told historical story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Terri | 1/31/2014

    " It is a good book that gives very good insight into life in concentration camps but from a French perspective. There are a lot of people to keep up with that is my only complaint "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kathryn | 1/28/2014

    " One of the heaviest, bleakest books I've ever read, but also one of the most inspiring. This is about friendship at its deepest, purest, and most ennobling. Added an important new layer to my understanding of WWII France and Nazi atrocities. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Kate | 1/27/2014

    " I only read a few chapters of this and it was just name after name after name -- no real story to tie it all together -- I may try again or not. "

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About the Author
Author Caroline Moorehead

Caroline Moorehead is the biographer of Bertrand Russell, Freya Stark, Iris Origo, and Martha Gellhorn. Well known for her work in human rights, she has published a history of the Red Cross and an acclaimed book about refugees, Human Cargo. Her previous book was Dancing to the Precipice, a biography of Lucie de la Tour du Pin. She lives in London and Italy.