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Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly is based on a true story of a New York socialite who championed a group of concentration camp survivors known as the Rabbits, this acclaimed debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets that were hidden for decades.

Caroline Ferriday is a former Broadway actress and liaison to the French consulate whose life 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, sinks deeper into her role as a courier for the underground resistance movement. In Germany, Herta Oberheuser, a young doctor, answers an ad for a government medical position—only to find 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, as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

This New York Times bestseller can be purchased at Amazon as well as you local bookstore in hardcover, paperback and ebook. Published by Ballantine Books in February 2017 it is 512 pages. It is Kelly’s debut novel although she is planning two sequels about relatives of one of the main characters: Caroline.

My Thoughts:

This is a gripping book. I read all 500 pages in two days! It tells the stories of three different women during World War II: an American socialite, a Polish teenager caught up in the resistance and a German doctor. Eventually their paths cross in a most unexpected way. I was fascinated by reading side by side the stories of three women who had such totally different viewpoints of the war and even the identical situation.

Kelly does a great job of making these women real. You will find yourself alternately rooting for and asking “Why are you doing/acting/saying this?” of all three women. Even the “heroes” make choices you may disagree with and even the “villians” will evoke your understanding. This is a book for history buffs (it’s based on historical figures and events) as well as those interested in the complicated relationships of women.