Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls

A Novel

Paperback - 2016
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Caroline Ferriday, a socialite in New York, has her hands full with her post at the French consulate, but on the eve of a fateful war, her world is changed forever when Hitler's army invades Poland in September, 1939; and then sets its sights on France. Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, an ocean away from Caroline, 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 suspcting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences. For Herta Oberheuser, the ambitious young German doctor, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, Herta 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. -- Container.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781101883075
1101883073
9781101883082
1101883081
Characteristics: 487 pages : illustrations, maps ; 20 cm

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Adult Book Discussion: Lilac Girls

Join us for a discussion of Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. The lives of three women, Caroline Ferriday a New York Socialite, Herta Oberheuser, a German doctor and Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager become intertwined in this novel set during World War II as their stories set them on a collision course that crosses continents from New York to Paris, Germany and Poland. (more)

Adult Book Discussion: Lilac Girls

Join us to discuss Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this debut novel explores the lives of three women whose lives were forever changed by their experiences related to Ravensbrück, Hitler's concentration camp for women: Caroline, an American working for the French embassy in New York; Kasia, a Polish teenager working for the underg... (more)


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From Library Staff

In 1939 Manhattan, twenty-something Caroline fends off unwanted suitors, while across the Atlantic, teenage Kasia Kuzmerick worries what will come as Germany declares war on her native Poland. As their involvement with the war grows, the two women's lives will converge in unprecedented ways.

This debut novel based on real people and events follows the lives of three women during World War II: New York socialite Caroline Ferriday, Polish teenager Kasia Kuzmerick and German doctor Herta Oberheuser. As the war dawns, Caroline works on relief efforts at the French consulate, Kasia joins ... Read More »


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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.

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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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