#BookReview: The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly #5STARS @marthahallkelly @randomhouse #ballantinebooks #historicalfiction


My Review: 5 STARS

A powerful historical World War II novel based on real people and this one has been seared into my memory…

The author did extensive research to bring this story to life. Caroline Ferriday and Herta Oberheuser were real people. The two sisters- Kasia and Zuzanna were based on research of 74 “Polish survivors” of Hitler’s Ravensbruck women only concentration camp.  These survivors were known as “rabbits” because of the horrendous experimental operations that were performed on them.

The author’s powerful writing had me feeling like I “was there” watching the lives  of each of these women unfold and how they each lost control over decisions.  I held my breath, tensed up and felt nervous at the many heart stopping cliffhangers…  I was furious with Herta, the young German Nazi physician that performed many ot the experimental surgeries without qualms or hesitation.

The portrayal of Ravensbruck was so vivid and absolutely frightening. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the suffering and heart break the women went through.

I missed this one when it published in 2016 and wanted to read it before I started the author’s newest novel, Lost Roses which publishes in April 2019.

This story  was one of evilness, loss, love, survival, and redemption.  Such a well-written, absorbing, and unforgettable story. Highly recommend!

I purchased this one for my personal library and highly recommend it.


Book Description:

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and secrets that were hidden for decades.
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.

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.



  1. Wonderful review! This was a difficult book for me as far as subject matter, but I still thought it was incredibly well done!💕

    Liked by 1 person

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