Skip to Content

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly []



Spanning more than twenty years in the lives of three women, and based on real people and events, Kelly’s debut brings historical facts to startling life. As the narrative begins in 1939, Caroline Ferraday is a former Broadway actress and New York socialite who works with the French consulate, Herta Oberheuser is an ambitious young German doctor, and Kasia Kuzmerick is a fifteen-year old Polish girl just getting involved with the resistance. As World War II progresses and Hitler’s army proceeds through Europe, circumstances draw these women together. Caroline’s relief work becomes more necessary. Herta secures a position as camp doctor at Ravensbrück, and Kasia is transported there with her mother and sister after her courier activities are reported. When the war ends, and the camp is liberated, the story continues. Caroline pursues reparations and justice for the displaced, Herta is tried and convicted of war crimes, and Kasia attempts to return to a normal existence in now-Communist Poland, marrying and having a baby. Details of fundraising efforts, immigration issues, Reich politics, camp life, and interpersonal relationships render a gripping read that lingers well after the book ends.

This is for World War II aficionados, biography fans, and book clubs, as well as teens looking for more after The Diary of a Young Girl.

Tagged: , , ,