Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls

Large Print - 2016
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Manhattan, 1939. New York socialite Caroline Ferriday's biggest problem is resisting the advances of a married actor. Across the Atlantic Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish Catholic teenager, is affected when Germany declares war on Poland. As tensions rise Caroline's interest in aiding the war effort in France grows; she hears about the dire situation at the Ravensbrück all-female concentration camp. Kasia's carefree youth is replaced by a fervor for the Polish resistance movement. Through Ravensbrück-- and the horrific atrocities taking place there told in part by an infamous German surgeon, Herta Oberheuser-- the two women's lives converge in unprecedented ways.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine :, Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning,, 2016
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781410491732
1410491730
Characteristics: 707 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print,rda

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c
ctkvlk
May 31, 2018

Excellent book on a sensitive subject. Interesting take on a subject that has received much coverage. Sensitive without being maudlin. Recommended reading.

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EarleneGlasgow
Mar 27, 2018

Based in the true story of Caroline Ferriday who after hearing about women who survived cruel Nazi experimentation at Ravensbrück, sponsored them to travel to the U.S. for recovery. Through this campaign she meets Kasia who was only a teenager when she was taken to the camp. The reader also hears the perspective of Herta who is a German doctor longing for experience who answers an advertisement to work at an all female camp.

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Zoelexi777
Mar 02, 2018

This is a fabulous book. It is based on true events that occurred during the Second World War. At times, it was difficult reading but well worth it. It is well written and the research was very thorough. I would recommend this book.

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m0mmyl00
Jan 13, 2018

Spoiler alert: The Lilac Girls told the separate but interwoven stories of three women who lived during the time of the Holocaust. Kasia is a brave teenager who is determined to fight the Germans. She works as a spy and supports the underground activities of her Girl Scout-type group. She is rounded up with other Poles and sent to Ravensbrück to be “re-educated.” Herta is a doctor with a promising future; very rare for a female. She is offered a plum job at Ravensbrück and goes, hoping to alleviate the suffering of the residents. When she discovers they are prisoners, and not even considered humans, she is undaunted and continues to do her “job.” Her job is to conduct experiments on girls’ legs, introducing foreign materials into wounds she and her staff inflicted on the girls and treating them/not treating them to see what happened. Kasia is one of her victims. Caroline is a New York socialite who uses her considerable influence and wealth to come to the aid of those suffering at the hands of the Germans while she works as a volunteer at the French embassy. Once the war is over, and she learns about the women whose legs were maimed, she plans and implements a plan to bring those women to America to be treated.
This story is based on a true event in history. The main characters are all real, and the main events in the story all really happened. It makes for some difficult reading, but it is well written and well researched, and tells an important story about individual people and what they did and what they had to bear.

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Eil_1
Oct 01, 2017

This book, was based on history - a brutal part of WWII - Ravensbruck a concentration camp for women where horrific experiments were conducted and murders of thousands of babies and females were committed. Kasia and Caroline are strong characters; Herta chooses Evil in order to satisfy her ego and ambitions. A powerfully intense read.

d
diannemarie52
Sep 20, 2017

A very thought provoking book that you will remember long after you have read it.

o
olemissann
Sep 11, 2017

Excellent book! This is a historical fictional account of 3 very different women's life during WWII. Caroline Ferriday is a former actress who works with the French embassy in NYC. Kasia is a teenager who is arrested with her family and boyfriend in Poland and sent to a women's concentration camp (Ravenbruck) for "re-education". The third woman is named Herta, a Nazi doctor who participates in "Research" at Ravenbruck. The book tells the perspective each woman had of the war, and shows how one person can make a difference in so many lives.

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greenacres
Sep 06, 2017

We've all heard the phrase "Don't judge a book by it's cover"; this is a good example. You may think you are getting a white-washed war story of three friends and lost loves, but this is so much more.
We are taken to Ravensbruck, a WWII "re-education" camp-really a concentration/experimental facility- where inmates are subjected to gruesome surgeries. We meet Kasia an inmate and a German female Doctor, Herta Oberheuser. We get both sides of the story in this novel; it's not often the reader is presented with that.
Another major character is Caroline Ferriday, a New York socialite, who sends care packages to orphaned French children and later assists in the rehabilitation of the Ravensbruck prisoners. There is a lot of emotional upheaval here, as there is in any war story. But the reader has some relief from the intensity of the major plot line with the introduction of the romance between Caroline and Paul Rodierre.
My minor "beefs" about the book -- I felt the title and cover were misleading but I understand the selling point of good cover art. And Caroline and the Ravensbruck women's lives don't converge until page 375 of the 476 novel. I realize we need this back-story to appreciate the novel in it's entirety.
All in all a suspenseful, detailed, educational read; a story that needed to be told. Lest we forget.

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bablnbabs
Sep 04, 2017

I loved this book! For a first novel it was fantastic. I prefer historical fiction and this was very well researched and the characters were vivid. I tried to read it very slowly in order to make it "last longer" yet I wanted to get to the next chapter as quickly as possible. I will keep it on my list to read again. It was most poignant as I was reading it when there were clashes between extreme left activists and alt-right protestors in modern America.

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Vincent2017
Aug 03, 2017

This was a fantastic book. It did take me a while to get into it, learning the personalities. But after that, had a hard time putting it down, Want to do more research regarding Caroline Ferriday and the "rabbits". Thank you Martha Hall Kelly for sharing this story with everyone.

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Firerose14
Nov 30, 2017

“It’s just a thing, Kasia. Don’t waste your energy on the hate. That will kill you sure as anything. Focus on keeping your strength. You’re resourceful. Find a way to outsmart them.“ -Matka (pg. 161)

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cknightkc
Jan 23, 2017

“But it’s fitting in a way - Father loved the fact that a lilac only blossoms after a harsh winter.” - p. 440

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