Skip to content »

Fixed on Fiction

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

In June, Fixed on Fiction met to discuss Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.

Lilac Girls was overall very well received. 6 readers gave it a thumbs up and 3 gave it a so-so.

Here are some of the initial comments readers made while discussing this month’s title:

  • One member gave it a so-so because the subject matter was difficult to read so she had to keep putting it down.
  • The book was very easy to read, each chapter kept you hanging so it made you want to keep reading.
  • Not enough character development, especially for Herta. Kasia’s story was also not well-developed but it might have been because it was based on a combination of women at Ravenbruck. Also did not like the dialogue.
  • We talked about Herta and we thought she was a strong woman, the example being when she saved her friend from rape, and in regards to her uncle, she did what she had to do for a job and to survive. In the beginning it was easy to feel sympathy for her but then it ended. We could not understand how someone could let what was happening go on without taking a stand.
  • Most members liked the story being told from three different points of view and one member did not care for the three voices.
  • Each character had their own faults, Caroline could not find a way to forgive Paul, Kaisa had trouble connecting with her daughter, and Herta, I don’t think we even have to mention hers.  
  • One member mentioned that the only problem she had with the book was that there is no way Caroline could have found Paul’s child that quickly. The whole group agreed.
  • We talked extensively on how desensitized the German guards had to become to be able to commit the acts that they did.
  • We also talked about how the oppression did not end for the Polish population after the war. Anyone who was behind the Iron Curtain lived in a police state until the end of the Cold War in 1991.
  • One member thought that Caroline probably felt unfulfilled in her life and she may have been doing this to fill a void.
  • We talked about how most of us did not know that there was a prison just for women and that it not only held Jewish women but Polish, French, Gypsies, most who were political prisoners.
  • We talked about the cover of the book and how it was deceiving. It gave you the impression of three best friends happily strolling through a garden when it was probably meant to be one women lending support to two sisters who went through a terrible ordeal.

These are just a few comments from our discussion. Feel free to share additional thoughts on Lilac Girls below.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

777 Front Street Lisle, IL 60532 | Phone: 630-971-1675 | Fax: 630-971-1701 | Hours: M-F 9:30am-9:00pm, SAT 9:30am-5:00pm, SUN 1:00pm-5:00pm