Such a good read! The story begins in 1939 just before Hitler invaded Poland and takes us all the way to 1959, years after the war was over. There are 3 storylines playing out and they all intersect at some point. There is the story of Caroline, a bit of a spinster who lives in New York with her mother, works for the French Consulate and buzzes about in high society circles; Kasia who is a young girl living with her family in Poland at the time of the invasion; and Herta, who is a German fully propagandized and ambitious who takes a job practicing medicine at Ravensbruck concentration camp. Of course there are atrocities and heinous crimes against humanity (as we know from history) but this is also a tale of forgiveness and healing. It is hard to put down once you begin reading, so clear your calendar!
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly is a historical novel set during World War II. We get to see how the lives of three women in three different countries are affected by the war. Caroline Ferriday in New York City, Kasia Kuzmerick in Lublin, Poland, and Dr. Herta Oberheuser in Germany. This war will forever change their lives (if they make it alive to the end). Each one will experience the war differently. Come see how these three woman survive the war and what happens to them afterward.
Lilac Girls is a long novel with some extreme details. This book is not for the faint of heart. There are many gruesome details about what happens at Ravensbruck (originally listed as rehabilitation camp for women). Ravensbruck was actually a concentration camp. Many women were experimented on at this camp by the doctors. These women became known as The Rabbits. It is very hard to read the details in this book. Lilac Girls contains good writing and interesting characters. The book starts out slow (making it hard to get into), but it does get much better. It is also confusing at first because it starts with Caroline (a New York socialite who devotes her time to the French Consulate), then goes to Kasia, then Herta. It then starts over again. The majority of the book is devoted to the what happens to the characters during the war and then the last section to how the war affects the rest of these women's lives. I give Lilac Girls 3.75 out of 5 stars. This novel will stick with you long after you finish it (because of the details). The book is based on real people and incidents.
I received a complimentary copy of Lilac Girls from the publisher in exchange for an honest review of the novel.
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly brings to life the story of the Ravensbrück "rabbits". Although the book is fiction, the history is frighteningly real. Note the book is not for the faint of heart; it describes many of the atrocities committed against Polish women in a concentration camp during World War II. This book starts slowly, but then the story builds and completely draws me in.
Read my complete review at: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2016/03/lilac-girls.html.
Reviewed based on a publisher's galley received through NetGalley
Martha Hall Kelly's debut novel was just amazing! She told the tale of three women who all played key roles during the Holocaust. Her tale about the rabbits of Ravensbruck was one I had not heard about before. This book is based on a lot of true stories,and she links them all together. It had a lot of graphic descriptions. I would highly recommend it!
Lilac Girls is an excellent debut novel by Martha Hall Kelly. It's a story of New York socialite Caroline Ferriday, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, and an ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser and their history of what they suffered during WW II that should not be forgotten. It was inspired by actual events and people. I found the story to be a definite page-turner and hard to put down. It is not for the faint of heart as the vivid descriptions reveal the bravery, cowardice, and cruelty of those days. The characters are well-drawn and will not be forgotten long after finishing the book. I look forward to reading the next book from Martha Hall Kelly as I found her writing to be very moving and memorable. I would highly recommend this book to those who like to read historical fiction.
It's always hard to read about the Holocaust, and this book was no exception. It focuses on the lives of three women: Caroline Ferriday, Kasia Kuzmerick, and Herta Oberheuser. It is equal parts riveting and horrifying. Caroline is a well-to-do society member who uses her influence to help those affected by the war. Kasia is a Polish teenager who ends up sent to Ravensbruck, the Nazi concentration camp for women. Herta is a young doctor who applies to work at Ravensbruck so she can practice her surgical skills, no matter what is being asked of her. The author did an excellent job at bringing these characters to life, even attempting to add a layer of humanity to Herta Oberheuser, who left my blood running cold. In her notes, the author mentions the years of research she spent on writing this book, and it shows. If you want to learn more about the Ravensbruck Rabbits (the women who were subjected to cruel medical experimentation), this is a good work of fiction to do so. Just prepare yourself.
Lilac Girls was recommended to me at the library,I wasn't sure what to expect as this was the author's first book. I could not put it down Finished it in 2 days. Highly recommend this to anyone that reads about World War II and the Nazi regime.
For anyone who studies the Holocaust, this novel, which recounts the medical experimentation that took place at Ravensbruck, the all-female concentration camp, is a must-read. It follows the lives of Caroline Ferraday, a New York socialite who volunteers at the French consulate in New York, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager who gets ensnared in the Polish Resistance, and Herta Oberheuser, a German medical doctor, who performs experiments on the prisoners at Ravensbruck, following orders of the Nazi regime. The details in the book are horrifying, yet true. This is another Holocaust story that must be told and remembered, so that it never happens again.
This book is based on the real lives of an American socialite, a doctor who performed terrible operations in a concentration camp during WWII, and the women upon who she operated. Excellent read.
A very worthwhile read. Loved it.