Review: The Last Train from Paris by Juliet Greenwood

I'm delighted to share my review of The Last Train From Paris, a gripping novel by Juliet Greenwood.

The novel is on blog tour with Rachel's Random Resources. Make sure to check out the other fabulous posts on this tour!



The Last Train From Paris

Juliet Greenwood

I'd not read anything by Juliet Greenwood before, but I now have to add her to the list of authors I have to keep up with. 

The Last Train From Paris is a story about two women who were faced with the unimaginable – and whose sacrifice saved one little girl from war: Iris.

In 1960s Cornwall, young Iris visits her mother, determined to discover her origins. She knows she's adopted, but nothing else. Now that she lives independently, in London, she yearns for knowledge about what happened. And this time, her mother, Nora, gives in. She hands her a box with letters and mementos, and Iris slowly discovers the true story of her life. And the cruel reality of what happened in the early days of World War II.

In 1939, the Nazis march on Paris, suppressing the French as they force their way through to the capital city. Nora – from England – is still in the middle of her training to become a chef, a dream come true that soon turns into a nightmare as she finds herself confronted by a brutal war machine approaching the city. She dithers, until she has no other option but to take the last train heading out of Paris before the arrival of the enemy. But as she says goodbye to her friend, Sabine, she is in for a surprise.

Sabine, her heavily pregnant friend, has to leave Paris, following her husband to an uncertain fate. Having given birth, and finding herself in a difficult situation, she decides to ensure her daughter is safe from harm, and looked after, well away from the danger that has reached them. In a heartbreaking move, she hands her daughter over to Nora, safe in the knowledge that her dear friend would care for the child.

As Iris discovers the whole truth, a story of bravery and desperation comes to light, and there is a surprise in store for her.

The Last Train From Paris is a heartbreaking novel, one that pulls you into its plot and doesn't let you go. Evocative and moving, it tells a tale of love, loss, and commitment.

The central part of the novel are the three women: Nora, Sabine, and Iris. All three are fascinating characters, well-drawn, human, and caring beyond duty. I found them to be so realistic that I felt their pain as I worked my way through the novel.

The Last Train From Paris is a moving tribute to the bravery of women in times of war and danger, to their capacity of being able to deal with life-saving decisions that are both heart-wrenching and sensible.

A truly wonderful novel!




For Iris, each visit to her mother in St Mabon’s Cove, Cornwall has been the same – a serene escape from the city. But today, as she breathes in the salt air on the doorstep of her beloved childhood home, a heavy weight of anticipation settles over her. Iris knows she’s adopted, but any questions about where she came from have always been shut down by her parents, who can’t bear to revisit the past.

 Now, Iris can’t stop thinking about what she’s read on the official paperwork: BABY GIRL, FRANCE, 1939 – the year war was declared with Nazi Germany.

When Iris confronts her mother, she hits the same wall of pain and resistance as whenever she mentions the war. That is, until her mother tearfully hands her an old tin of letters, tucked neatly beside a delicate piece of ivory wool.

Retreating to the loft, Iris steels herself to at last learn the truth, however painful it might be. But, as she peels back each layer of history before her, a sensation of dread grows inside her. The past is calling, and its secrets are more intricate and tangled than Iris could ever have imagined.

The year is 1939, and in Paris, France a young woman is about to commit a terrible betrayal… 

A beautifully written and addictively compelling historical novel about the terrible choices ordinary people were forced to make in the horrors of World War Two. If you loved The Tattooist of AuschwitzThe Alice Network and The Nightingale, you will devour this book.


What readers are saying about Juliet Greenwood:

“This was fantastic! Perfect for a Kate Morton or Lucinda Riley hangover, this book will draw you in and won't let go until you've read the last page. This book was unputdownable – fascinating characters, excellent writing, and a plot that keeps you turning the pages. I loved every second of it."
~ Reader review,

I found myself reading chapter after chapter, unable to put it down. A first-time read by this author but certainly not the last.”
~ Reader review,

“For readers of Kate Morton and Lucinda Riley, this book will be one of your favorites… A historical novel that will keep you reading until the end.”
~ Reader review,

An absolutely brilliant read. I could not put it down…I loved how the war changed everyone and it was a gripping story... I really loved it. Cannot recommend it enough.” 
~ Reader review,

“Did everything that I was looking for… it left me wanting to read more from Juliet Greenwood.
~ Reader review,

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About the Author:

Juliet Greenwood

Juliet Greenwood is a historical novelist, now published by Storm Publishing. Her first novel was a finalist for The People’s Book Prize and two of her books reached the top 5 in the UK Kindle store. Juliet has always been a bookworm and a storyteller, writing her first novel (a sweeping historical epic) at the age of ten. 


She lives in a traditional cottage in Snowdonia, North Wales, set between the mountains and the sea, with an overgrown garden (good for insects!) and a surprisingly successful grapevine.

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