By: Martha Hall Kelly
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars — Genre: Historical Fiction– Number of Pages: 487
When I first began reading this book, I assumed it was a standard historical fiction book, which meant it was based on actual events, but the characters were not real. However, I learned that this book was a bit different. Some of the characters in this book were based on real people; this part added a layer of fascination to the story.
While I did enjoy reading this book, I never felt like it consistently pulled me back to it. In some of my favourite books, I have moments where I cannot put it down, and any free time I have, I am going back to the book. I did not have this feeling with Lilac Girls. That does not mean it was not a good book because the story and characters were fascinating, but it seemed to lack something, not sure what. It could also be that I have been reading many books from this genre recently, and I may have been a bit tired of it by the time I read this book. Maybe if I came across it at a different time, then I would have felt differently.
The three main characters do not get brought together until the end of the book, but each character had an interesting story throughout. This story brings to light some of the horrible circumstances Polish people found themselves in after German occupation and even after they were “liberated” by the Soviet Union. It also spoke about concentration camps through the eyes of a Polish character, which is a bit different than reading about it through a Jewish characters’ perspective. It showed that although Jewish people were the main target of the concentration camps, others were also sent to the camps. However, Kelly made sure to continuously refer to the Jewish prisoners throughout the story, which is very important.
Overall I enjoyed this book, and I would recommend it to people who enjoy historical fiction books.