Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Historical, Women’s Fiction
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

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.
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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.

A mission, lives and righting wrongs…

I picked up this book because I liked other books set around the same time and thought I might like this one. The premise caught my attention and I wanted to know more. I’m glad I did. The plot is interesting and the writing was good. This story has promise.

Caroline and Paul’s storyline was interesting and rooted for them to get a happy ending. That said, the characters were a bit flat. I liked Kasia enough, but Herta… it was hard to read her plot because it was hard to buy into what she stood for. There are mentions of rape, which might be a trigger to some. I wasn’t sure how to feel about her. I didn’t like Herta’s actions, even if she thought she had a purpose. Caroline’s character came across a bit snobby. She’s a socialite, but the descriptions were a bit much. This could be a light read at times and bogged down in details in others.

Still, this is an interesting take on the subject of three women from WWII. Herta and Caroline are based on real people, so once I got to the author’s note, it was neat to find out they were real.

If you’re looking for a book that’s a different take on the time period, then give this one a try.

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