Book Review: Lilac Girls by Martha Kelly

Recently I sat down and read a book that is climbing the charts on every best-seller list out right now. With this being said, I figured I would give this growing literary phenomenon a try. Here is a summary of our novel:

 

“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.”

 

  • Highlights

This novel is something I was not expecting. I thought I would merely read a novel about WWII, and relearn the things I found out in a HIS 108 class; however, I found out much more. The novel offers us not one, but three unique perspectives, based on true-stories, into the lives of women during this time. While I am awfully skeptical of feminist viewpoints in novels, I found this to be just the right amount of justice for women and left me hooked in the ways three different lives intercept. The book is clearly well-researched and leaves you knowing so much more history than you thought you knew. I guarantee it will leave you inspired to do your own research on German experimentation during WWII. It’s definitely a very moving book, and not many books move me quite like the way this one did.

 

  • Fair Warnings

I must first say the start of this novel is kind of slow, but slowly begins to captivate you. A lot of grown up themes are used, so I recommend this novel for ages 14+. I say this primarily for the violence of WWII, some mild language, and mild sexual themes. One con I could also note is that I had a little hard time trying to connect with the characters. I empathized with them, but for me it was hard to relate. However, I believe this novel’s underlying theme of inspiration really outweigh any cons.

 

  • Thumbs Up or Down?

Without a doubt, a huge Thumbs Up! This novel is something that needs to be read. It’s so much more than a book about history. I believe you’ll leave this book craving more information and inspired to learn more. In fact, I believe it honestly will make you see life a little differently, if not more appreciative.

 

Happy reading!