Ms. Kirkpatrick is one of my favorite historical fiction authors! I love the way she takes true stories and solid historical facts then seamlessly weaves in fictional details. This is based on the true story of Hulda Klager a German immigrant with only an 8th grade education. What she lacked in years of schooling she made up for in her God given genius in horticulture.
Her love of plants came from her father. Her first "mission" was to develop a larger apple that tasted great and peeled with ease. All because she wanted to be able to make apple pies faster! After many years she accomplished her goal.
Her next passion was to produce a specific new color of lilac that also had more petals that the standard lilac. Once that was accomplished she continued to work with her favorite flower until she had created 100's of other varieties.
She achieved this while caring for and raising a family. Her massive flower garden began to attract attention far and wide to the point they had 1000's of visitors each year. She truly earned her name, the "Lilac Lady".
While Hulda's story itself was fascinating I found some very important lessons to be learned from her life. One was her amazing perseverance. Her beloved plants were stomped by animals and a different times flooded by the nearby river. Each time she dealt with the damage and start again. The last time a flood completely destroyed her garden to the point all that was left was some large trees. At the age of 83 she started over. Now that is faith and determination at its greatest!
She also faced opposition from her pastor and others in pursuing her dream. They felt she was "tampering" with God's creation. Guilt plagued her that she was spending too much time on her flowers and neglecting her family. Each time she faced opposition within or without, she turned to God for her answers.
Her strong faith brought her through many painful losses of those she loved. Again she turned to the Lord for her strength and guidance.
Hulda never wanted to "get rich" and was even resistant to selling her hybrids to companies and individuals. She just wanted to share the flowers she loved so much. Not once even when fame came her way did she grow prideful in her success. She remained humbled and very much in awe at the attention she drew.
I believe she was able to continue on and leave such an amazing legacy because her focus was always on her Lord and the task she believed He had given her.
Hulda died in 1960 at the age of 96. Today you can still visit her gardens that have been restored and maintained. Many of the lilacs she planted are still there. After reading the book I want to purchase a Hulda Klager lilac! An interesting and entertaining book that will inspire you in your faith!
Be sure to go to http://www.jkbooks.com/ and check out more of Jane Kirkpatrick's wonderful books!
I received this book free from Waterbrook Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own
"Where Lilacs Still Bloom" by Jane Kirkpatrick- book review
Jane Kirkpatrick has done it again! She is just the master of telling a woman's story. This time it is Hulda Klager who lives in Washington in 1890's. As she and her husband, Frank, build a family, farm and life, Hulda just has her flowers, especially Lilacs.
This amazing book follows the Klager family through love, marriage, war, floods, death, birth and all the while, Hulda has her lilacs. It all starts when she wants an apple that is larger, crisper and easier to peel, so that it is easier to make pies. She learns from trial and error about horticulture.
This book is easy to read and tells the story of women coming to be accepted in many areas traditionally held by men. If you are a gardener or just like flowers, this book will be of great interest to you.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Waterbrook Press as a member of the blogging for books team. All opinions expressed are my own.
A very inspiring story about the life and work of Hulda Klager, who was a self-taught horticulturist in the early 1900's. She had many tragedies in her life, yet continued towards her dream to develop better flower and fruit cultivars. Another great read by Jane Kirkpatrick!