Lilac Girls- Book Review

By: Martha Hall Kelly

This book is a bit of a twist on the typical historical fiction novel. Kelly included some fictional characters but also real historical figures. I didn’t realize this until I had completed the book and did some research. This was an intriguing discovery that made the book a bit more appealing.

This story is centered around three women, each effected differently by World War II. Each of their stories shows a different perspective of this war. It is a social history perspective that is rarely explored in textbooks. The way these three women were connected in the end was the most captivating part of this story.

I enjoyed reading this book and going through the emotions of each of the characters but, I didn’t find I was fully captivated by this story. I’m not exactly sure what was missing but, the characters did not draw me in or excite me to keep reading. I think if there was a bit more character build up I would have felt more connected to these characters and then maybe more glued to the book. Part of me also wonders if I have been reading too many similar books lately and maybe that is why I felt a bit bored by this book.

Some main topics explored by Lilac Girls:
*Polish prisoners in concentration camps
*A doctors struggle between the Hippocratic oath and the orders from Nazi superiors
*Soviet ‘liberation’ of concentration camps
*The human experiences of trying to escape Europe during World War II

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