Our book club at our local library just finished reading LILAC GIRLS by Martha Hall Kelly and as always I like to share our review and thoughts with all of you.
About the Author
Martha is a native New Englander now living in Connecticut and Martha’s Vineyard. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years, raised three wonderful children who are now mostly out of the nest and Lilac Girls is her first novel. She is hard at work on the prequel to Lilac girls. More infomation about the true story behind Lilac Girls can be found on her website site: https://www.marthahallkelly.com
The Synopsis of Lilac Girls
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post-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 a 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 sees 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 Ravenbruck, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. The 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.
This was a book I had been wanting to read for quite some time, so I was excited when it was picked by our book club for our next read. Wow! what an amazing book, Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride, from sad, horrified, shocked and even joy.
What we found the most surprising, was that the character, Caroline was based on an actual person. I highly recommend visiting the author’s website for further reading about this amazing woman who did so much for the Polish women that suffered under the realm of Hitler.
The author did extensive research for the book and it shows in her writing. An outstanding debut novel told in the first person from the view of three courageous women. What these women went through was absolutely horrifying and it makes you realize just how lucky we are today and in all honesty, we should have nothing to complain about.
What we all favored most about the book is that it went on to tell about the post-war transition of these incredible women. The recovery and after effects that they endured and what Caroline did will bring tears to your eyes.
Having said this I do have to say that I did struggle with the book in some parts. I found it hard to keep track of the characters sometimes because each chapter was the voice of one of the women and it tended to jump around a little too much for me. But other than that we thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you love historical fiction, this book is a must-read.
Our Overall Rating
COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – I absolutely loved the cover. The photo catches your eye and right away, one new the era of the book.
CHARACTERIZATION – 4 STARS – I had a hard time keeping track of the characters due to the chapters jumping around.
STORY & PLOT 4 STARS – The fact that it was based on a true war hero had me captivated, I found myself wanting to know more about these women and their sufferings.
OVERALL RATING – 4 STARS – Excellent read, highly recommend, Others may not have any issue with the characters like I did.
Questions to ask at your book club
1 – Who was your favorite character and why?
2 – How did you feel about the book being written in the first person by three different characters. Did it work for you?
3 – There were many powerful moments in the book. Which one in specific touched you the most? Explain why.
4 – Which of the three ladies could you relate to the most?
5 – How does the book compare to other books of the same era that you have read?
6 – What event in the book shocked you the most?
7 – What emotions did you experience after reading Lilac Girls.
8 – Did you learn anything after finishing the story?
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