Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls

A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2016
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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 Ravensbrü ck, 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.Narrator List:CAROLINE, read by Cassandra Campbell KASIA, read by Kathleen Gati HERTA, read by Kathrin KanaWith the Author's Note read by the author.Advance praise for Lilac Girls "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 Times bestselling author of China Dolls "This is the kind of book I wish I had the courage to write— a profound, unsettling, and thoroughly captivating look at sisterhood through the dark lens of the Holocaust. Lilac Girls is the best book I've read all year. It will haunt you."— Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet "Rich with historical detail and riveting to the end, Lilac Girls weaves the lives of three astonishing women into a story of extraordinary moral power set against the harrowing backdrop of Europe in thrall to Nazi Germany. Martha Hall Kelly moves effortlessly across physical and ethical battlegrounds, across the trajectory of a doomed wartime romance, across the territory of the soul. I can't remember the last time I read a novel that moved me so deeply."— Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of A Hundred Summers and The Secret Life of Violet GrantFrom the Compact Disc edition.
Publisher: New York : Random House Audio, 2016.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9781101889619
Branch Call Number: DOWNLOADABLE AUDIOBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (14 audio files) : digital
audio file,rda
Additional Contributors: Campbell, Cassandra

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hewit1993
Jun 13, 2018

I felt this was a good story line, but rather slow in many places. This may have been due to some of the narrators, whose reading styler I found a bit off-putting. It was both sobering and inspiring to learn the story of Caroline Ferriday and the "Ravensbruck Rabbits"-a piece of history I would probably have never known had I not read this book.

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SuzeParker
Jun 06, 2018

One of the things I love about reading is learning about real people and historical events I knew little or nothing about. Thanks to Martha Hall Kelly for bringing the important stories of the Ravensbrück prisoners and Caroline Ferriday's work to light, and for telling them in such a poignant and meaningful way.

Damma66 Jun 04, 2018

This debut novel of historical fiction by Martha Hall Kelly is a smashing success! The author has done superb research and much of the book is based on actual events. There are 3 primary female characters, a New York Socialite, a Polish woman who was at the Ravensbruck concentration camp in Poland and a female physician at the same camp. How there lives are intertwined is incredible. It is not for the faint of heart but speaks to the indomitable courage and will to help others and survive as only women do.
I found the authors notes at the end very helpful to put context and clear up questions I had while listening to the book. It truly helped me understand the significance of the title Lilac Girls. I also learned of new atrocities that occurred in these horrific camps and while gruesome to ponder we must never forget and these stories should be told lest history repeat itself.
If you liked Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell or The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah you will love this book as well.

ArapahoeMaryA Jul 30, 2017

Lilac Girls illuminates the horrific medical experimentation on the young polish women incarcerated at Ravensbruck during WWII. The fact that this story is rooted in history makes it all the more heart wrenching.

MissLauraStorytime Feb 06, 2017

Martha Hall Kelly's debut novel spans two decades, from the beginning of WWII in 1939 to the world struggling to return to more peaceful lives in 1959, and elegantly weaves together the lives of three women who are caught up in the shifting circumstances of their times. Based on the true stories of prisoners at the Ravensbruck concentration camp, the doctor who caused them so much physical and emotional pain, and the New Yorker who came to their aid, this is a novel whose characters, settings, and plot have equal parts to play. Superbly researched, beautifully written, and expertly read, this is a story that stands with other excellent WWII novels like The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure, and
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell.

ArapahoeChristineS Nov 30, 2016

This was beautiful and devastating novel from the perspective of three different women in vastly different circumstances during WWII. For me, the book was all the more interesting finding out that two of the main characters where real people, the other, a composite of some of the women horrifically experimented on in Ravensbruck. For all the shock from the utter cruelty of some, this storyline is mostly about brave survivors and, thankfully, heroic women who dedicated themselves to giving selflessly to help those they don't know. This story has it all.

ArapahoeTatyana Nov 17, 2016

This is Kelly's debut novel, and I think a successful one. It belongs to historical genre: WWII. There are three stories in the novel, intermingled and interwoven in a beautiful and heartbreaking narrative. One is narrated by Caroline, an American girl who is volunteering at the French Consulate trying to help orphans and refugees as much as she could. The second is done by Kasia, a Polish girl, who ends up in Ravensbruck, a concentration camp for women, as a Rabbit. And finally, Herta, a German girl, one of the doctors, who carry out medical experiments beyond cruelty on the so called Rabbits. There are three readers whose brilliant performance convey the three different characters of the novel, their destinies, their views, their feelings.

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TheresaAJ
Aug 01, 2016

Kelly explores the medical experiments that took place on human "rabbits" at Ravensbruck concentration camp during World War II. The novel opens in 1939 in Lublin, Poland when the Nazis have launched their first attack and ends in 1959 when Kasia confronts her Nazi tormenter. The author uses two real people, Caroline Ferriday, a New York City socialite, and Dr. Herta Oberheuser, a German doctor, and creates Kasia Kuzmerick (a composite of several Ravensbruck survivors) to explore the impact of war and its horrors on people. As the reader follows the characters' lives for 20 years, he or she can view conflict, political ideology, and well-meaning intentions from various perspectives. This book would provide lots of discussion for any book club. I found the author's notes about her research just as fascinating as the novel.

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