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Booked for the Day

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

On Monday, April 1st, the Booked for the Day Book Group met to discuss, Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.  Here are a few things we discussed during the meeting:

  • Before reading this book many of us did not know about Ravensbruck or we knew very little about it. We also knew very little about the history of Poland during World War II and post-war, it seems their story has been neglected and the reason why all of us were glad we read this book.
  • We agreed that it was a difficult book to read largely because we knew it was based on real events. It did take some of us a while to get all of the characters straight but each chapter was a cliff hanger which kept us reading.
  • Some of us had trouble with the cover of the book along with the title, we thought it was a bit misleading. It appeared to be a lovely story about three well-dressed friends out for a stroll. We understood that lilac was the flower that was grown at the Hay and that lilacs were known to bloom even after the harsh winters in Poland, referencing Kasia and her sister’ experience but we still thought the cover was misleading.
  • A few of the members had trouble with the character development. Details on Caroline’s life were easy for the author to obtain but we disappointed to find out there was no Paul (we didn’t think he was necessary to the story unless the author was trying to pull in the romance audience). Kasia’s story was the most gripping, but it was not as well-developed. It may have been because Kaisa’s story was based on a combination of women at Ravensbruck so it was hard to get to know her. Herta’s character was the least explored so we never get a real understanding of her.
  • I think most of the group spent some time researching the real people and real events that inspired this story, which is another reason that we were glad we read this book.

These are just a few things mentioned during the discussion. Please feel free to add any of your thoughts in the comment section.

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