Book Review – Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

You’re going to want a box of tissues when you read Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.

Based on true events, Lilac Girls weaves narratives about WWII through Caroline, a wealthy philanthropist working for the French consulate in New York; Kasia, a Polish teenager caught working for the underground resistance movement; and Herta, the only female surgeon at the Ravensbruck women’s “reeducation” camp. ⠀

This novel, Hall Kelly’s debut, is simply stunning. Each character brought a unique voice to this incredibly tenuous and traumatic time in our world history. While I was completely wrapped up in each character’s story, I was glad for the transitions because I think reading any one of the characters for the whole book would have been too difficult. (For example, the “lightness” of Caroline’s story broke up the horror of Kasia’s, but would maybe have not held my attention for the entirety of the book).⠀

Despite the weight of the subject, Hall Kelly has a simple writing style that is easy to read and keeps you flying through the pages. With themes of resilience, forgiveness, and the enduring power of love through tragedy, you will be hard pressed not to find something that tugs at your heart strings. ⠀

If you liked All the Light You Cannot See, you will LOVE Lilac Girls. ⠀

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