Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly

by Kate Hareng

Based on a true story and years of careful research and interviews, Lilac Girls is a moving WW2 tale, set in occupied Poland, Ravensbrook womens’ concentration camp and the USA.
The story alternates between three main characters. Caroline Ferriday, socialite and volunteer at the French embassy as WWII starts, Kasia, outspoken Polish teen, and Herta, German Doctor.

The reality of the hideousness and cruelty of Nazi Germany is ever present, the huge numbers of people of all nationalities and backgrounds who were slaughtered or who survived broken a testament to the madness of it all. The attitude and actions of Gerda , the German doctor, remind us how Hitler brainwashed an entire nation to believe that what they were doing was right!

At times, I felt that the author didn’t really follow up enough emotionally on the enormous and heart breaking events that she recounts, real life horror stories; experimentation, starvation…..but maybe that made for easier reading.

I really enjoyed this book, and definitely recommend, particularly for those who enjoy history mixed in with fiction.

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