Lilac Girls: Martha Hall Kelly

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Another WWII story, Lilac Girls, traces the lives of three very different women affected by the war.  Kasia, a Polish young woman, spends the best years of her life in a Nazi concentration camp.  Caroline, an American philanthropist falls in love with a French Actor and tracks him down in Paris only to lose him again.  Herta, a German doctor of humble origins, carried out horrific acts on the prisoners, without as much as a prick of conscience.  The horrors of the Nazi concentration camps: the indiscriminate killings, the medical experiments on prisoners, and the inhuman living conditions of the inmates are captured in their ugly nakedness.  I believe I have read too much of WWII to be shocked any longer,  but the story still touches you nonetheless. What I thought would be the strength of the book – the narrative continuing after the end of the war, including the Russian occupation of Poland – turned out to be the weak link.  The characters, particularly Kasia’s – gets a bit mixed-up and irrational.  The writing is not very attractive but the starkness of the story reigns supreme.

Read, if you are not saturated by WWII books.

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