Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls

A Novel

Book - 2016
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"On a September day in Manhattan in 1939, twenty-something Caroline Ferriday is consumed by her efforts to secure the perfect boutonniere for an important French diplomat and resisting the romantic advances of a married actor. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish Catholic teenager, is nervously anticipating the changes that are sure to come since Germany has declared war on Poland. As tensions rise abroad - and in her personal life - Caroline's interest in aiding the war effort in France grows and she eventually comes to hear about the dire situation at the Ravensbruck all-female concentration camp. At the same time, Kasia's carefree youth is quickly slipping away, only to be replaced by a fervor for the Polish resistance movement. Through Ravensbruck - and the horrific atrocities taking place there told in part by an infamous German surgeon, Herta Oberheuser - the two women's lives will converge in unprecedented ways and a novel of redemption and hope emerges that is breathtaking in scope and depth"--
Publisher: New York :, Ballantine Books,, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Description: 487 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9781101883075
Branch Call Number: Kell
Additional Contributors: Kelly, Martha Hall. Lilac girls


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Apr 03, 2021

Until I found out that this was based on a true story, I would have only given it a 4. As a true story, it was definitely a 5-star story!

Jan 19, 2021

Holocaust Lit. Good read.

Jan 18, 2021

Checks most of the politically correct boxes

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

A great historical fiction debut. It’s a heavy, emotional read but it’s also a beautiful, redemptive story. This book features well-developed characters, atmospheric details, and a piece of history that people may not be aware of. This is a bit of a longer read with a slow pace.

This was debut novel by Martha Hall Kelly, and very well done. I enjoyed it from start to finish. It is based on the real life story of Caroline Ferriday, who was a Broadway actress, then became a liaison to the French consulate in New York. Ferriday was instrumental in bringing 35 survivors of Ravensbrück, the women's Nazi concentration camp in Germany, to the United States for medical care after the war. 'Lilac Girls' spins a historical, fictitious tale of how this unfolded. I would definitely recommend this one.

Sep 02, 2020

Dear or dear. This book should be a part of every school curriculum for younger generation to know and remember what fascism is about. Based on real people and facts, this book is mind blowing. I researched the characters further - all information is available on the Internet - it’s unbelievable that those individuals belonged to the human race. Because they were not humans.

Jul 23, 2020

This follows 3 women starting in 1939 and goes through to the end of the 1950s during World War II. One woman is an American socialite who struggles romantically but raises money for victims in France. Another women is a young German doctor whose first job in the medical field is at a “reeducation camp for women” which is actually a job at a concentration camp doing experimental surgeries on the women. Another is a young girl who is caught an an Underground agent and is taken to be one of the doctors’ “rabbits” as an experiment. At one point during all of their stories I cringed for their pain, at other points I wanted to slap all of them (some more than others). This was a good read, a little confusing in the beginning but half way through once I had everything and everyone figured out, it read a lot smoother.

Feb 19, 2020

Enjoyed the book...well written.

Feb 01, 2020

Extremely well written. Very moving.

Jan 27, 2020

This was so good! I don't know why I waited so long to read it. I listened to the audiobook and it was easy to follow along even though it switched between 3 different women. I got to know the accents so I knew which woman's story I would be hearing about. I always love learning about WWII and the Holocaust. The more we know the better. This time I learned about the "rabbits" the women who were experimented on by the Nazi's. We also learned about a female doctor who did the surgeries and about a woman in New York working at the French Embassy trying to help with the war. This story is heartbreaking but also parts are uplifting how the women fight and support each other. They didn't give up. The author notes were also fascinating how she did her research and what she found. I knew about the rabbits but I hadn't read anything about them. Lilac Girls makes me want to learn more about the horrific surgeries and the women who endured them.

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LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“You have a choice. To wallow in the unfairness of it all or rise above it. Fix it. Let other people in.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“It’s just a thing, Kasia. Don’t waste your energy on the hate. That will kill you sure as anything. Focus on keeping your strength. You’re resourceful. Find a way to outsmart them.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“It only hurts you to hold on to the hate.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“Father loved the fact that a lilac only blossoms after a harsh winter.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“I guess somewhere in a corner of our hearts, we are always twenty.”

Nov 30, 2017

“It’s just a thing, Kasia. Don’t waste your energy on the hate. That will kill you sure as anything. Focus on keeping your strength. You’re resourceful. Find a way to outsmart them.“ -Matka (pg. 161)

Jan 23, 2017

“But it’s fitting in a way - Father loved the fact that a lilac only blossoms after a harsh winter.” - p. 440

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