Lilac Girls


Book Description

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.

My Thoughts

What a stunning story, based on people who endured the years of the spread of Naziism. This historical novel is written in first person from three points of view–through a woman in the US, another in Poland, and a doctor in Ravensbruck concentration camp for women. It begins in 1939, the episodes winding tighter and tighter during WWII, leaving devastating aftermath situations for decades afterwards.

The Author’s Note is a treasure–telling of coming through letters and documents, the Nuremberg Doctors Trial, visited the main American character’s lilac gardens (which had been pictured in a 1999 Victoria magazine), and traveled to Poland with her own 17-year-old son. The precious Reader’s Guide includes a conversation between the author and another writer about the book. There are also photos and maps, as well as Topics for Discussion.

We must never forget.


  1. Thanks for the review! I gave this book to my mother for Christmas a couple of years ago, and she enjoyed it. I think it’s high time I read it myself!

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