Lilac Girls: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly


Wow. I finished listening to the audiobook version of Lilac Girls: A Novel yesterday and I can’t stop thinking about it: the wonderful listening experience, the amazing story, how well the book was written, how much I learned about World War II, how I felt like I was right there with these characters, how invested I became in their stories. I really can’t say enough about this book.  Such a treasure.

The story takes place during World War II in the U.S., France, Germany and Poland.  It follows three women from 1939 into the 1950s: New York socialite Caroline Ferriday, Polish teenager Kasia Kuzmerick and German doctor Herta Oberheuser.  Each of the novel’s chapters are told from the perspective of one of the women.  It was so moving and I felt a huge range of emotions during the course of the book…sadness, anger, disgust, hope, and happiness. It’s all there.

I adore historical fiction and I seem to have a soft spot for novels that take place during World War II.  So I think it’s safe to say that I would have loved this book no matter the format.  That said, I enjoyed the listening experience so much; I really felt like I was right there with the characters.  The audio version is a long 17 hours and I listened to it during any spare moments I could get…while folding laundry, washing dishes, walking on my treadmill and while driving in the car.  One of the reasons I loved the audio version so much is that there was a different narrator for each of the three women and each of the narrators was absolutely fantastic.  I just loved their accents.

This will definitely be on my list of favorite reads this year.  The author, Martha Hall Kelly, is currently working on a prequel to Lilac Girls.  Can’t wait for it!



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