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This New York Times bestseller tells the remarkable story of three very different women brought together by the infamous Ravensbruck concentration camp. Will appeal to readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and All the Light We Cannot See.

OVER ONE MILLION COPIES SOLD

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this runaway international bestseller 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 neighbors, 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.

‘This is a part of history—women’s history—that should never be forgotten’ Lisa See, author of China Dolls

Reviews

A powerful story for readers everywhere . . . Martha Hall Kelly has brought readers a firsthand glimpse into one of history’s most frightening memories. A novel that brings to life what these women and many others suffered . . . I was moved to tears.

San Francisco Book Review

Profound, unsettling and thoroughly… the best book I’ve read all year.

Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Extremely moving and memorable . . . This impressive debut should appeal strongly to historical fiction readers and to book clubs that adored Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.

Library Journal (starred review)

Lilac Girls falls squarely into the groundbreaking category of fiction that re-examines history from a fresh, female point of view.

Star-Telegram

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781760892579

    April 2, 2019

    Penguin

    512 pages

    RRP $27.00

    Online retailers

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  • Paperback

    9781101883082

    February 1, 2017

    Ballantine

    512 pages

    RRP $27.00

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  • Hardback

    9781101883075

    April 15, 2016

    Ballantine

    496 pages

    RRP $37.00

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  • EBook

    9781760892593

    April 2, 2019

    Penguin eBooks

    512 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ
  • Lilac Girls
    Martha Hall Kelly

    Audio Download

    9781760892838

    April 2, 2019

    Random House AU Audio Adult

    Online retailers

    • Audible NZ
    • Google Play Audio NZ
  • Audio CD

    9781101889589

    April 15, 2016

    Audio RH USA

    RRP $100.00

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Extract

CHAPTER 1

Caroline

SEPTEMBER 1939

If I’d known I was about to meet the man who’d shatter me like bone china on terra-cotta, I would have slept in. Instead, I roused our florist, Mr. Sitwell, from his bed to make a boutonnière. My first consulate gala was no time to stand on ceremony.

I joined the riptide of the great unwashed moving up Fifth Avenue. Men in gray-felted fedoras pushed by me, the morning papers in their attachés bearing the last benign headlines of the decade. There was no storm gathering in the east that day, no portent of things to come. The only ominous sign from the direction of Europe was the scent of slack water wafting off the East River.

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