Lilac Girls

Customer Reviews

12,632 Ratings

Overall Ratings

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
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5 out of 5 stars
By Joy Easton on 05-18-16

The cover is a bit misleading, but...

This was a memorable book & the 3 stories were very interesting & well-written. Don't be tempted to read the author's note at the end of the book first. Spoilers! I'm glad the author included it. I wanted to know more about actual events. I'm inspired to read more about the "rabbits."

The book seemed to drag a few times, but that's probably because I wanted things to happen that didn't. The book is long, but I don't think it needed editing (& I'm a former proofreader/copy editor).

Each narrator was excellent! I would be surprised if anyone dislikes the narrators. Even when each does other accents, I didn't find it jarring or dissonant.

There are a few places where it's quite sad & grim. But that's part of the book's purpose; it's about the Holocaust, after all.

Overall, an interesting, moving book from a new author. I'll be watching for her next book!

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90 of 93 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Kristi on 06-15-17

Unknown History

What did you love best about Lilac Girls?

I am a retired history teacher and have read many books on WW2. I was not aware of this bit of WW2 history. Survivors of the concentration camps endured unspeakable horror, yet their determination to live at all costs gave them the soul to make it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager who takes on the undeserved guilt of being Hitler's victim.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I really liked that each of the main characters were narrated by a different person. It made it sound like individual stories.

Who was the most memorable character of Lilac Girls and why?

the medical code is - First do no harm- I don't know if this in true in Hitler's Germany, but she struggles with sexism while denying her own prejudices.

Any additional comments?

The author combines just enough fiction with historical facts to provide depth to the story. I really liked the author's notes about the real "Rabbits."

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18 of 18 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Holly on 06-14-16

One of the best books I've ever heard!

LOVED this book! I couldn't stop listening. I didn't know until afterward that this story is based on real people experience which makes it even! more amazing. There was no time in this book when I wanted to put it down. All my friends have gotten the book because of my recommendation and they say the same thing. The different character narrators' voices were amazing and really makes the listener feel like you are right there with them. The woman who narrated the character Kasha was especially good. I have never heard a narrator capture the emotion of a scene like she can... simply WOW! Don't pass this book up.

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39 of 41 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kaitrin Moore on 05-07-16


I hesitated at first about taking on another historical novel set amidst World War II - but rest assured this is a story you have not heard - about people you may have heard about and events that might sound a bit familiar. But that is where familiarity ends. The extraordinary attention to detail, the depth of the characters, and the narrative told from the points of view of three different but interlinked characters make for superb reading (or listening).

This is a novel about so much more than the many Nazi atrocities we know about - it's about being willing to love and be loved, learning that we cannot control events but must live them, it's about the complications borne of buried trauma, and ultimately about facing pain in order to grab hold of one's life - and live with gusto - no matter the cost. Because it's worth it.

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55 of 59 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By mrsgrz on 04-30-16

Amazing story! Based on true life events

Really well researched story of 3 some with different roles in the events of WW2. Incredible characters! Wonderful narration. Really liked how each character had a different narrator. Engrossing listen

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36 of 39 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Bernard on 06-23-17

Holocaust Revisited

What disappointed you about Lilac Girls?

I found the middle section dragged and that the sudden change in the German doctor's character was not sufficiently supported. She went from a woman struggling in an unfair system, uncertain about her country's policies, to a full-fledged Nazi with very little transition. I found this jarring and implausible.

What could Martha Hall Kelly have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

It would have been better if she had shortened the middle section that occurred during the war. For me what is of most interest is the war's aftermath rather than additional detail about the medical experimentation in the concentration camps.

Which scene was your favorite?

I thought the French gala in the United States where the French actor went off script was quite entertaining and funny.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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