Monday, January 15, 2018

Book Review - Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly is a well-researched novel based on a real life New York socialite. Caroline Ferriday, as liaison to the French consulate, made a huge difference in WWII for French orphans. She also impacted Polish women from Ravensbruck concentration camp who suffered unspeakable horrors. Caroline managed to get them to the USA after the war for reconstructive surgery and help in returning to “normal” life.

Cover blurb: Kasia Kuzmerick is a Polish resistance fighter sent to Ravensbruck. Herta Oberheuser, a German doctor, is sent to work at Ravensbruck and committed to horrific surgical experiments on camp women. Caroline Ferriday is a woman on a mission. The stories cross continents as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten. This debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets that were hidden for decades.

Lilac Girls is  a rich debut novel filled with well-drawn characters and compelling drama. As the stories unfold, you will be shocked at what occurred and the strength of humans to survive.

p. 440  Caroline waved toward the lilac bushes that swayed in the breeze. “It’s fitting in a way – lilacs blossom after a harsh winter.  It’s a miracle that beauty emerges after hardship.”


Be sure to read the Author’s Note at the end. Kelly’s  path to finding this story and bringing it to life in novel form is fascinating. The life of Caroline Ferriday was admirable and worthy of more attention. Her strength and persistence made for a compelling read. I finished the book in awe. 

12 comments:

  1. Difficult subject matter.
    The greatest heroes are the ones who simply do and with no fanfare.

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  2. The hardest historical novel to write/read is the one that deals with war, particularly the WWs. Interesting and heart wrenching at the same time.

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    1. and I'm drawn to these books. They make me question myself

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  3. People can survive a lot, does leave one in awe though how some do it.

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  4. I finished your review in awe, Joanne. Thank yo for drawing attention to this beautiful story of heroism.

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    1. thanks. A friend lent me the book, thank goodness

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  5. An excellent review Joanne on what I'm sure will be a good seller.

    Yvonne.

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  6. Sounds like a thought-provoking book. This would be a troubling one for me to read.

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    1. It's an excellent story and yes troubling, but still worthwhile. So much good does overcome evil...

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