On a September day in Manhattan in 1939, twenty-something Caroline Ferriday is consumed by her efforts to secure the perfect boutonniere for an important French diplomat and resisting the romantic advances of a married actor. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish Catholic teenager, is nervously anticipating the changes that are sure to come since Germany has declared war on Poland. As tensions rise abroad - and in her personal life - Caroline's interest in aiding the war effort in France grows and she eventually comes to hear about the dire situation at the Ravensbruck all-female concentration camp. At the same time, Kasia's carefree youth is quickly slipping away, only to be replaced by a fervor for the Polish resistance movement. Through Ravensbruck - and the horrific atrocities taking place there told in part by an infamous German surgeon, Herta Oberheuser - the two women's lives will converge in unprecedented ways and a novel of redemption and hope emerges that is breathtaking in scope and depth--
Format: Hardcover, 496 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books, April 2016
Product Dimensions: 9.5 L × 6.6 W × 1.6 H
Publisher Marketing: Publisher Marketing: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER For readers of The Nightingale and Sarah s Key, inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this powerful debut novel reveals an incredible story of love, redemption, and terrible 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 Ravensbruck, 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.
In Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly has crafted a remarkable novel of unsung women and their quest for love, freedom, and second chances. It is a story that will keep readers bonded with the characters, searching for the truth, until the final pages.
USA Today New and Noteworthy Book LibraryReads Top Ten Pick
Harrowing . . . Lilac illuminates. People
A compelling, page-turning narrative . . . Lilac Girls falls squarely into the groundbreaking category of fiction that re-examines history from a fresh, female point of view. It s smart, thoughtful and also just an old-fashioned good read. Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A powerful story for readers everywhere . . . Martha Hall Kelly has brought readers a firsthand glimpse into one of history s most frightening memories. A novel that brings to life what these women and many others suffered. . . . I was moved to tears. San Francisco Book Review
Extremely moving and memorable . . . This impressive debut should appeal strongly to historical fiction readers and to book clubs that adored Kristin Hannah s The Nightingale and Anthony Doerr s All the Light We Cannot See. Library Journal (starred review)
[A] compelling first novel . . . This is a page-turner demonstrating the tests and triumphs civilians faced during war, complemented by Kelly s vivid depiction of history and excellent characters. Publishers Weekly
Kelly vividly re-creates the world of Ravensbruck. Kirkus Reviews
Inspired by actual events and real people, Martha Hall Kelly has woven together the stories of three women during World War II that reveal the bravery, cowardice, and cruelty of those days. This is a part of history women s history that should never be forgotten. Lisa See, New York Timesbestselling author ofChina Dolls
Profound, unsettling, and thoroughly . . .the best book I ve read all year. Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
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