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Lilac Girls

Caroline Ferriday is not a lady I can remember having heard about before.  However, since reading about her in Lilac Girls, she’s a woman who I want to know more about and will not forget. 

The story is told from the viewpoint of three women.

New York socialite and philanthropist, Caroline volunteers at the French embassy.  When Hitler invades Poland her life gets complicated as her love interest, married actor Paul Rodierre, returns to France.

Kasia and her sister Zuzanna are Polish teenagers.  Kasia joins an underground movement with disastrous consequences.

Finally, Herta a young German doctor determined to make her mark in a male dominated world.  Like Caroline, Herta is a true character and was one of the doctors at Ravensbrück.

This book is compelling; each chapter ends in a cliff hanger and I found myself totally unable to put it down.  I stayed up reading past 3am (the next day was somewhat tricky!)

As with any war story, there are difficult and upsetting scenes.  The details of the events at the women’s concentration camp are terrible but not written in an overly graphic way.

The most moving part of the book for me is the sisterhood that the Rabbits formed.   It is inspiring, and so very sad, to think that these women were treated so barbarically and yet were able to find ways to support one another.  They are a great example of what a sisterhood should be.

Finally, Caroline; a true heroine.  I have been reading more about her since finishing.  I found her fascinating, fearless and inspiring.   Her compassion and dedication to helping the Lilac Girls, and all the French orphans, left me speechless.  The world needs more people like this remarkable lady.

I have wanted to read this book for a long time and it has far exceeded my expectations.  It has definitely made its way straight into my top 10 books of all time.  If you haven’t read it, you simply must.

I’ve just seen that Martha Hall Kelly has another book coming in April 2019, Lost Roses. I for one will be at the front of the queue to get my hands on it. 

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