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