Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

lilac

Book Blurb from Goodreads.com:

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and 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 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.

My Review:

This book, based upon a true story, is about three women during World War 2.

Caroline Ferriday is a single New York socialite who does volunteer work for the French Consulate aiding orphans. Compassionate about her work, twenty-something Caroline wants to do something meaningful with her life. We follow her life through WW2 and how her she ultimately ends up helping raise money to rehabilitate women whose lives were severely impacted at Ravensbruck . Kasia Kuzmerick is a 17 year old, living in Poland who joins the resistance when her country is invaded by the Nazis. She is from a tight- knit family consisting of a sister, Zuzanna, a medical student, and her parents. Herta Oberheuser is a German doctor who takes a medical position in Ravensbruck, a forced labor camp for women under the Nazi regime. Herta is the villain of the story.

The lives of these women intertwine in a sad yet powerful story. Until I read this book, I was unaware of the horrors that took place at Ravensbruck. The book can be intense at times, but is very well written. I appreciated that the book did not end at the liberation of the camp.  The stories continue, and we are able to gain insight into some of struggles and issues faced by families after the war.  

This is an excellent historical fiction novel. The author provides a nice follow up at the end discussing how her writing of this novel started. This is a debut novel by the author. I look forward to her next book that I hear is in the works!    

I am giving away a signed copy of the book until 10/11 via my blog on FB http://www.facebook.com/suzyapproved

 

 

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