Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls

A Novel

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"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"--
Publisher: New York, New York : Ballantine Books, ©2016.
ISBN: 9781101883082
Characteristics: 487 pages ;,25 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jul 03, 2019

This novel moved me to tears. Captured the story through the perspective of three characters. Tremendously well written and brought to light the terrible cruelties and heartbreaking stories of lives forever changed by the horrors of the Second World War. Excellent author.

May 29, 2019

This book was an amazing read and I did not want to put it down or let go of the story. Even did some lite research afterward about some of the real life characters. I also did not know anything about Ravensbruck, the experiments and the Polish women.

May 25, 2019

I found this book to be pretty engrossing. Prior to reading this, I had a vague knowledge of Ravensbrück, but this novel elaborated on what those poor women and children endured. Chilling and horrifying. I also appreciated the very different experiences of the 3 protagonists. Perhaps the novel could have used a little more editing for length, but overall, 2 thumbs' up.

May 22, 2019

I downloaded and listened to this book and fell in love with it. It reads a little slow, I’m guessing due to the slight accents of the European characters. I stuck with it and really enjoyed the story. There was a lot in the book that was new information to me. The book is historical fiction mostly biased on Caroline a New York socialite. Well written, well told. I hope others enjoy it as much as I did.

May 13, 2019

Best Seller du NYT. Dispo en français à la Bibliothèque de Gatineau.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Apr 28, 2019

This historical fiction set during World War II will appeal to those who enjoy reading historical fiction from multiple points of view.

Apr 01, 2019

Loved that the author was inspired to do all the research and write the book based on a visit to the historic home owned by Caroline Ferriday who flew Polish women who were experimented on at the Nazi concentration camp for women to the US for treatment in 1958. Story is told through perspectives of Caroline and woman Nazi doctor and one of the Polish women - and they all wrap together nicely at the end.

Mar 13, 2019

When I saw two cliches in the first two paragraphs, my expectations plummeted. The subject is an important event in history, but the author's style totally trivializes it. She explains at the end that one narrator and several main characters are NOT historical, just made up to give the book pizzazz. Kelly was trained as a journalist and spent years researching and writing it. I would MUCH rather have had a narrative non-fiction tale, not the sappy Harlequin romance that goops up the facts. There are cliches, feeble descriptions and similes, cliff-hanger chapter ends and blatant anachronisms that take away from the true trials and accomplishments of these women. Too much is speculation and guesswork.

Feb 13, 2019

It is interesting how the book is set up- wasn't sure if I could keep up. but it was good!

Jan 29, 2019

A wonderfully engaging story; personal tragedy, soul searching, and survival. Cannot recommend this book enough.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
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)

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

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top