Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this powerful debut novel reveals an incredible story of love, redemption, and terrible 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.
In Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly has crafted a remarkable novel of unsung women and their quest for love, freedom, and second chances. It is a story that will keep readers bonded with the characters, searching for the truth, until the final pages.
Three women, three different experiences.
I love how this book is designed. Each girl has a chapter. So, you go from Caroline, the New York socialite, to Herta, the German doctor, to Kasia, the polish prisoner. The reader has three different perspectives. The feelings and circumstances expressed through each character carry the reader through multiple events, ordeals and emotions.
I was absolutely hooked on the very first word. First of all, this is my favorite time period to read. The setting had me hooked from the blurb. However, the characters and their experiences are what kept me so absorbed. There are so many aspects to this novel, I don’t even know where to begin. The love of Caroline, the guilt of Kasia and Herta….I don’t even know what to say about her. I hated her, but her circumstances left her no choice, until the end of the novel and I hated her all over again.