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Publisher's Summary

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this runaway international best seller reveals the power of unsung women to change history in their quest for love, freedom and second chances.

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 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 Ravensbruck, 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.

©2019 Martha Hall Kelly (P)2019 Penguin Random House Australia

Critic Reviews

"This is a part of history - women's history - that should never be forgotten." (Lisa See, author of China Dolls

What listeners say about Lilac Girls

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-30-22

Brilliant!

The first part of this story I found hard to listen to but only because of hearing what those poor women went through. I almost gave up because it was quite a heavy story. However I’m so glad I carried on, an amazing story of such courageous people. Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-18-22

Made me read other books

This is wonderful and I have now listened to other books by the author and have read books and now going to listen to the books she has recommended

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  • Sue
  • 01-20-22

One of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read

I’ve read many WW2 books, most of which I’ve been happy I’ve read & learnt from. Not this one. Although I learned many things I previously knew nothing about, I wish I hadn’t. It was incredibly disturbing & not a book I would recommend to anyone.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-27-21

A MUST READ

Lilac Girls is a beautifully written account of women involved in different ways during the war. Cleverly knits the stories together. Powerful. I did not know these stories before listening to Lilac Girls. Thank you for a well-researched, magnificent book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-04-21

A fitting tribute to the heroic women in the story

A beautifully written book of the events of WW2. I felt horrified and emotional through out the book and totally in awe of the incredible women the book portrays. Highly recommended.

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  • kylie
  • 05-24-21

Great historical fiction

Really enjoyed it. Incredibly sad and harrowing but gripping. Looking forward to delving deeper.

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  • Teresa
  • 11-12-20

Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!

I learnt so much about WW2 through this story. I was never interested in history at school so this gave me insight into areas I would never have known before. Although harrowing at times, and did bring tears to my eyes, it was very reassuring to know that this was based on real life facts. The story was tastefully written and brilliantly told bringing home the horrible truths that was bestowed on the Jews in concentrations camps. Highly recommend it!

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  • Nessiebee
  • 08-28-20

We could all take a page from Caroline's book

I loved this book, the true horror of what these remarkable woman endured and to this day I still cannot comprehend the entire hatred of a specific religion. The rabbits changed the world in so many ways and so did Caroline, a woman in the days when we still didn't really have a voice, stood strong to support these wonderful heroines. It goes to show that a little bit of love and kindness can change the world, but your inner strength should never be underestimated.

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  • Happy shopper
  • 08-18-20

Fact and Fictiom

I loved this book. An sad yet informative insite to the terrible scientific experiments performed on fellow humans who showed strength beyond anything I can imagine

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  • Sarah
  • 08-06-20

wonderful

Martha Hall Kelly has written a lovely novel that all should read and connect with

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