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?
2. How has this book changed your view of World War Two, the
French Resistance, the role of women in wartime, or the Holocaust,
or another subject discussed in the book?
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?
4. What 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
6. If 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
9. The 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
11. What 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?
12. Debate 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
13. What 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?
14. If you could invite Caroline Moorehead to your book club
discussion, what would you like to ask her about A Train in
Winter, and why?