1. What is the importance of women’s
friendship in A
Train in Winter? How is it shown, what forms does it take, and what
difference does it make to the lives of the women described in the book?
has this book changed your view of World War II, the French Resistance, the
role of women in wartime, the Holocaust, or another subject discussed in the
3. Caroline Moorehead takes care in the
book to tell individual stories. Which of these had the greatest impact on
you while reading the book, and why?
motives for the women’s resistance
work are presented in A Train in Winter? Are their reasons
the same as those of men?
5. What will you remember
about A Train in Winter?
you could ask one of the survivors of the Convoi des 31000 a question about
her experiences, what would it be?
7. Why do
you think the history discussed in A Train
in Winter was buried for so long?
8. What do you think was behind “attentisme” – holding
on, waiting, doing nothing – the initial French reaction to the Occupation?
women of the Convoi des 31000 longed to come home from the camps – but
then those few who did so found their return to be sometimes impossibly hard.
Why was this the case?
10. What lessons should
we learn from A Train in Winter?
role did the Communist Party play in the French Resistance? How were perspectives
on it altered, first by the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, and then by the
German invasion of the Soviet Union?
the issue of French collaboration with the Nazi authorities as it is described
in the book. What do you think you would do if you were placed in some of the
situations Caroline Moorehead describes?
do you make of the turn in recent historical writing to “microhistories” of
individual moments and stories, rather than grand abstract narratives? Which
kind of historical writing do you prefer, and why?
you could invite Caroline Moorehead to your book club discussion, what would
you like to ask her about A Train in Winter,