Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls

A Novel

eBook - 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"-- Provided by publisher.
"Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this powerful debut novel reveals an incredible story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets that were hidden for decades. New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline's world is forever changed when Hitler's army invades Poland in September 1939--and then sets its sights on France. An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences. For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power. The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbruck, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents--from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland--as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten. In Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly has crafted a remarkable novel of unsung women and their quest for love, freedom, and second chances. It is a story that will keep readers bonded with the characters, searching for the truth, until the final pages. Advance praise for Lilac Girls "Rich with historical detail and riveting to the end, Lilac Girls weaves the lives of three astonishing women into a story of extraordinary moral power set against the harrowing backdrop of Europe in thrall to Nazi Germany. Martha Hall Kelly moves effortlessly across physical and ethical battlegrounds, across the trajectory of a doomed wartime romance, across the territory of the soul. I can't remember the last time I read a novel that moved me so deeply."--Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of A Hundred Summers and The Secret Life of Violet Grant "Inspired by actual events and real people, Martha Hall Kelly has woven together the stories of three women during World War II that reveal the bravery, cowardice, and cruelty of those days. This is a part of history--women's history--that should never be forgotten."--Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author of China Dolls"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2016.
ISBN: 9781101883068
1101883065
1101883073
9781101883075
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource.

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a
alexanderrl94
Aug 07, 2018

I loved almost everything about this story! I think Kelly did a great job integrating all of the ladies stories. However, I felt like Herta Oberheuser story was told in an odd way. However, I overall loved this story. It is an eye-opening look at the Holocaust through multiple different facets.

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lindahartm52
Aug 05, 2018

Three young girls who have very different life experiences during the pre-WWII and after. Remarkable story of how their lives wove together

Interesting fiction built on 5 women's stories in WWII. Partial true
CM

t
theamac
Jul 21, 2018

An eye-opening, emotional read that is roughly based on the true stories of three women and their experiences during WWII. I have never read about the atrocities that occurred at Ravensbruck, a female concentration camp that is especially known for its medical experimentation on young Polish women. I learned a lot and would highly recommend it.

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xiaojunbpl12
Jul 21, 2018

Though Caroline’s narrative (New York stories and her affair with a French celebrity) appealed to me, such a conjured up book title may disappoint or infuriate readers who consider a serious subject were smooched as to cater a different mass market.
Herta had some brilliant narratives in the first half of the book, esp. her younger days when molested. I was hoping to see more, even fictionalized episodes to convince about her transition, psychological numbness, and illusory dignity, but she was simply gone and taken over by others cursing her monster.
Kasia, the only fictional character out of three, had my interests in the beginning, for a country suffered both during the war and behind the iron curtain, but her narratives became less and less engaging my senses.

I admire author’s ambition to bring forth a historical tragedy and war crime, encouraging as many people as possible to learn what otherwise be left in obscurity. The usage of local lingo (French, German, Polish) mixed in each narration showed extensive research conducted and certain linguistic talent (though bewildered me
sometimes). But overall it was felt a compilation of news storytelling in chronological order from three perspectives, lack of shared suspense and room for imagination.

b
banjocat
Jul 21, 2018

One of the best books I have ever read, couldnt put it down and didnt want it to finish.
Ive read alot about the holocaust, but had no idea about the womens only concentration camp.

How another person can HATE another so vehemently is something I cannot and never will understand.

I highly recommend this book, its a fantastic read.

i
Irakar
Jul 17, 2018

amazing book.
i read a lot about holocaust, but mostly about Jewish side.
these events were unknown to me, prompted to research more.

c
ctkvlk
May 31, 2018

Excellent book on a sensitive subject. Interesting take on a subject that has received much coverage. Sensitive without being maudlin. Recommended reading.

e
EarleneGlasgow
Mar 27, 2018

Based in the true story of Caroline Ferriday who after hearing about women who survived cruel Nazi experimentation at Ravensbrück, sponsored them to travel to the U.S. for recovery. Through this campaign she meets Kasia who was only a teenager when she was taken to the camp. The reader also hears the perspective of Herta who is a German doctor longing for experience who answers an advertisement to work at an all female camp.

z
Zoelexi777
Mar 02, 2018

This is a fabulous book. It is based on true events that occurred during the Second World War. At times, it was difficult reading but well worth it. It is well written and the research was very thorough. I would recommend this book.

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Firerose14
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)

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cknightkc
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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