Review: LILAC GIRLS by Martha Hall Kelly


If you know me, you know I love WWII stories. I picked this one from Net Galley and it was wonderful. At times both touching and heart breaking, this is an unforgettable story about three young women in three different places during the war whose paths converge.

Here’s what Net Galley has to say:


Litfuse Blog Tour Review: A SPARROW IN TEREZIN by Kristy Cambron and Giveaway!

I’m blogging today as part of the Litfuse Blog tour of Kristy Cambron’s new Christian fiction novel: A SPARROW IN TEREZIN, Book Two of the Hidden Masterpiece series.(Book One is THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN which I reviewed here:

A SPARROW IN TEREZIN continues Sera and William’s story and focuses on a different WWII artifact: a gold necklace of a cross. When the story starts, Sera and William are getting married, however the wedding is more than marred by officials showing up and arresting William for some sort of shady/illegal/irregular dealings in the business. Sera is determined to prove his innocence, so she travels to Europe to find and speak to WIlliam’s long-lost father. Meanwhile, in the 1940’s, Kaja is sent by her parents out of Prague so that she will be safe during the war. She ends up working in England where she falls in love. Soon she heads back to Prague in an attempt to save her parents.

I have to say that while I enjoyed this book, I liked Kaja’s storyline more than Sera’s. I was a bit disappointed in Sera’s actions and the way she jumped to conclusions and hardly gave her husband a chance to explain himself and his decisions. I don’t want to give away too much, but her rashness both annoyed and disappointed me.

While you can read this novel as a stand alone, you might want to read “Butterfly” first so that you fully understand the backstory and characters. I am curious to see where this series is going next!

And wait – there’s more! Follow this link for a great giveaway basket!

Sparrow Terezin Kristy CambronBound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection in Kristy Cambron‘s new book, A Sparrow in Terezin. Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear—even if it means placing their own futures on the line.

Kristy is celebrating by giving away a basket filled with goodies inspired by her new book!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A set of poppy notecards
  • A poppy pin
  • A copy of I Never Saw Another Butterfly
  • A copy of the Mrs. Miniver DVD
  • Literary tea bags
  • Tumbler
  • A copy of A Sparrow in Terezin
sparrow giveaway bastet

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 28th. Winner will be announced April 29th on Kristy’s blog.

sparrow terezin-enterbanner{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

Here’s a bit about Kristy:

About the author:

Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather’s stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.

Find Kristy online: website, Facebook, Twitter
See what other Litfuse Bloggers have to say:

Thank you for making me part of the blog tour and for my copy through Net Galley! I enjoy Kristy’s writing and the Christian focus of her books, and I look forward to the next novel in this series.


YA Review: ROSE UNDER FIRE by Elizabeth Wein

I found ROSE UNDER FIRE on Net Galley and thought it sounded intriguing. While presented as a YA read, this book was quite intense emotionally and I thought could be enjoyed by adults as well. In ROSE UNDER FIRE, WWII courier pilot Rose Justice finds herself downed by Nazi aircraft into German territory. Terrified, she realizes that they don’t intent to harm her, per say, but keep her in a work camp. That camp turns out to be Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Rose spends several months there, through the winter, before she is liberated in a harrowing escape.

I could not put this book down. While it was suspenseful and “exciting” (notice quotes), it was haunting and disturbing, and really painted such a vivid picture of Ravensbrück that I had nightmares (full disclosure: I’m a pretty sensitive person). The book starts with Rose’s daily diary of events. She’s a courier, an American actually, working for the British. Her life has been pretty innocent up until the war. She is only nineteen. She flies to Paris on a job and has a wonderful day there, including “buzzing” the Eiffel Tower. She is scheduled to fly back to England the next day, but then we realize that Rose is classified as “missing”. Family and friends try to be hopeful but presume she is most probably killed. The book then is Rose’s writings of her memoir of the time spent in camp as she stays at the Ritz in Paris to recuperate. The end of the book is in Rose’s present time, as the war ends in Europe.

Before reading this book, I had little knowledge of Ravensbrück. I knew it was a concentration camp and I thought it was for women. The portrayal of the camp in this book is really remarkable. I could see it so vividly. As with a lot of WWII literature, the resiliency of the prisoners to stay alive was incredible and awe-inspiring. I know it’s fiction, but people experienced what these women did, and it is both fascinating and horrible. A large portion of the book centers on the Polish girls in the camp who were used for experiments by the Nazi’s. Called “the rabbits”, they were experimented on so that the Germans could figure out how best to treat war wounds and infections. Wish I could say Ms. Wein made this up, but she didn’t. Wein is the author of CODE NAME VERITY, which I have not read, but which I purchased so that I could.

Highly recommended if you are a reader of this genre, but be prepared. YA doesn’t mean this book is just for the kids. In fact, I would hope that if young people were reading this book (which would be an excellent hs classroom choice) that adults are talking to them about it and discussing it with them.

Thanks, Net Galley and Miramax Publishing, for my copy!

ROSE UNDER FIRE publishes 9/10/13.