Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review*

Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly
Author: Martha Hall Kelly
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 496
Format: DRC
ISBN-10: 1101883073
ISBN-13: 9781101883075
Publisher: various formats

3 stars

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.

3 woman, 3 countries, one war.
Kasia is a teenager when the war starts. Dreaming of boys and nice dresses she ends up in the Polish resistance. Not long she gets arrested and is transported to Ravensbruck.
Carolina is a 30 something woman from New York. Former actress on Broadway she and her mother are now organizing charity events for various groups Carolina also works at an organization that is sending out care kits to the victims in France from WWI. When she meets the man of her dreams he is not only married but eventually returns to France just before WWII starts.
Herta is a young woman who studied to be a surgeon. But woman cannot be surgeons in Germany. When she sees a job for a female doctor in Ravensbruck she applies hoping it will give her a chance t prove herself.
The three woman all have their own voice but are alike too. Their thoughts are filled with dreams. With things they hope to achieve. With love they hope to find. It is even possible to muster up some sympathy for Herta though just a bit. The horror she and Kasia are involved it, where Kasia is the victim, makes it really hard to like her even a bit. She stood for what she did and honestly believed in her actions. I did like that she never changed in a sobbing pool of regret which would be the easy way to gain some sympathy for her.
Kasia her story is the most emotional one. What she is going trough in Ravensbruck is scary and horrible. It is easy to sympathize with her. Though this sympathy is challenged too at some point in the story.
Caroline her storyline is a bit dull compared to the other two stories. Safe in New York not much excitement there. It did break the sometimes intense storylines and I could not care for her much.
What disturbed me a bit were the historical details. The mention of Edith Piaf in the US early 1939 where for my idea her biggest success happened during and after the war. Same with the Ravensbrück setting that felt too advanced already for the time that Kasia arrived there. I did look up these things and they were accurate but for me it felt a bit out of place which annoyed me.
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