Lilac Girls - Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls

By Martha Hall Kelly

  • Release Date: 2016-04-05
  • Genre: Historical
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 601 Ratings)
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  • Description

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For readers of The Nightingale and Sarah’s Key, inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this remarkable debut novel reveals the power of unsung women to change history in their quest for love, freedom, and second chances.

    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 Ravensbrück, 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.

    USA Today “New and Noteworthy” Book • LibraryReads Top Ten Pick

    “Harrowing . . . Lilac illuminates.”People

    “A compelling, page-turning narrative . . . Lilac Girls falls squarely into the groundbreaking category of fiction that re-examines history from a fresh, female point of view. It’s smart, thoughtful and also just an old-fashioned good read.”Fort Worth Star-Telegram

    “A powerful story for readers everywhere . . . Martha Hall Kelly has brought readers a firsthand glimpse into one of history’s most frightening memories. A novel that brings to life what these women and many others suffered. . . . I was moved to tears.”San Francisco Book Review

    “Extremely moving and memorable . . . This impressive debut should appeal strongly to historical fiction readers and to book clubs that adored Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.”Library Journal (starred review)

    “[A] compelling first novel . . . This is a page-turner demonstrating the tests and triumphs civilians faced during war, complemented by Kelly’s vivid depiction of history and excellent characters.”Publishers Weekly

    “Kelly vividly re-creates the world of Ravensbrück.”Kirkus Reviews

    “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

    “Profound, unsettling, and thoroughly . . . the best book I’ve read all year.”—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

    Reviews

    • Lilac girls

      5
      By Sean/Rachel
      Must read
    • The Lilac Girls

      5
      By Bdus69
      A must read!
    • Lilac Girls

      5
      By Reading Giant
      My gritting teeth, my stopped heart, and my gasping breath wanted to put this book down, but my hand kept turning pages.
    • Amazing Read

      5
      By Alltakenfu
      I have read many books on World War II, this was one of the very best. When I read some of the previous reviews, the one from Urrrg on April 2nd really says it best. This is a must read for all Americans who think we have such a horrible life and country. The strength of the women who were put through such horrors and survived even stronger is such an inspiration. Thank you for this book!
    • Lovely, heartfelt, extremely engaging!

      4
      By psniaki
      Incredible, gripping, unforgettable story... I could hardly put it down. There were, however, a few things that annoyed me throughout. I've lost count of how many times the author uses the word "bosom", or gave the meaning of a character's name in order to make a point about their personality. Caroline's relationship with Paul was unconvincing and difficult to like, and her role in the bigger story seemed pointless for at least the first 300 pages. Although each chapter is told from a different character's point of view, the speaking style were are awfully similar, so that it's obvious that the author is writing in their place. I was expecting each character to have their own unique voice, as is accurate if one were to read their diaries. There are times where author introduces a character who has already been introduced a few pages before... and if she forgot that she had already done so. A times the setting, characters' clothes, and speaking style was not in line with that of the war-time era. And last but not least, I think that starting the book with Caroline in NYC was a weak start, because Kasia's and Herta's stories were far more attention-grabbing.
    • lIllac girls

      5
      By Sunshine reader
      I truly loved reading this story. The author really described the character in great realistic detail. I felt like I knew them all personally. Can't wait for another book by this author. Martha Kelly.
    • Lilac Girls

      1
      By PTsav
      Drudgery to read. Eventually stopped 3/4 thru. Maybe it was the way the characters & story lines were so broken up. I found it difficult to follow & keep my interest.
    • Lilac Girls

      5
      By Ariadne at Sea
      As someone who has seen man's inhumanity to man first hand, this book shows the contrast between a few evil people who can dominate a country and a culture, and the many good people it takes to overpower such evil. As someone who has spent so much time in Germany and come to love the people and culture, I know good people must be vigilant, or evil will prevail. This story is well presented and well written. How can I say I loved such a story? I guess I can say I loved the power of the characters and the goodness of a few.
    • Riveting

      5
      By Awaz7
      So well written and a story that I wasn't familiar with. Telling it from three different perspectives created such compelling storytelling. Definitely tough to read in places, but I really loved it. The ending was a everything. Keep a hanky handy! Make sure to read the Afterward written by the author. Wraps things up very well.
    • Engrossing and Moving

      5
      By BlondieBlake
      I found this book to be one of the best I’ve read in a very long time. I was totally engrossed in each of the three main characters lives and felt every joy and trial they encountered. At times, I had to put it down to process the distressing events that I had just read, but not for long, as I had to know if they were going to survive. With today’s ongoing world conflicts and knowing the holocaust horrors have not gone away, just taken on new identities, it was a reminder to speak up and stand up to fight crimes against humanity.

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