Lilac Girls

The world in 2017 seems to be drifting as helplessly towards division and conflict as a log is swept to the rapids in a river. Anything that reminds us of the terrible cost of conflict and war, fiction or non-fiction is to be welcomed. Martha Hall Kelly ( has given us a powerful historical novel based on real lives in The Second World War.


The summary is as follows. 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 rocked 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 neighbours, 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.


This is a deeply moving novel packed with authentic historical detail. Enquire at your local library. Check if this historical fiction is in stock by consulting the online catalogue at


512 pages in Ballantine Books

First published 2016

ISBN 978-1101883075



Martha Hall Kelly

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