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Lilac Girls


Named to The New York Times list of best-sellers, Martha Hall Kelly’s debut novel relates the story of a World War II heroine and the power of unsung women to change history in their quest for love, freedom, and second chances.

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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 suspicious neighbors, one false move could 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 a concentration camp. 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.

Inspired by the article “Caroline’s Incredible Lilacs,” which appeared in a 1999 issue of Victoria magazine, Lilac Girls is the Summer 2022 Victoria Classics Book Club selection.

By Martha Hall Kelly
Ballantine Books


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