It is fitting in a way-the fact that a lilac only blossoms after a harsh winter. It’s a miracle all this beauty emerges after such hardship.
Three women – New York socialite Caroline Ferriday; ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser;Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager- all so different but tied together under different circumstances.
The narration is told by each of them before the war, during the war and long after the war. Caroline who volunteers to help orphans become placed during the war is raising money for her efforts when she falls in love with a French married actor. Their story reveals the heartache of the loss of Caroline’s father and her ultimate pursuit to help the Polish Women held at Ravensbruck concentration camp. The women were called the Ravensbruck Rabbits experimented upon the German doctors there. Reportley to help with German soldiers. You can google this and see actual pictures of what these women endured.
Herta the female German doctor that in her ambition did terrible things to many Polish women that led to many of these women being killed and those that survived suffered from traumatic distress and physical scars. Her claim that she did not break any laws (which she did not in Germany but against Humanity-Yes). How she justified her actions. Her story tells how so many Germans were able to see the Polish, Jews, and many others as sub human.
Kasia a young Polish rebel that was taken along with her sister and her mother that fell in the evil hands of Herta during the war and embraced by the saving grace of Caroline. Kasia’s story tells of the guilt, shame, fear and the loss of her mother that is heart breaking. It is a story that honors those that suffered under the Nazi reign and reveals the fight to let go of those demons after the war. How she held on to the pain and ultimately was freed from it.
If you are a fan of World War II historical, you will want to slip back in time and into the lives that endured such inhuman atrocities. Each woman had a place in history-one that fought for others, one that should have fought for others and one that fought to live when many others would have given up.
A Special Thank You to Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.