Lilac Girls takes place between 1939 to 1950, and is narrated by three women: Caroline Ferriday (Below Left), Polish teenager Kasia Kuzmerick (based on real life Rabbit Nina Ivanska) (Below Middle); and German doctor Herta Oberheuser (Below Right) who assists Dr. Mengele at the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. Since its publication by Ballantine Books Lilac Girls has been published in over 30 languages and has been a New York Times bestseller.
American socialite Eliza Ferriday (Caroline Ferriday’s mother) and her best friend Russian aristocrat Sofya Streshnayva are close friends who have an unbreakable connection and bond with one another. Sofya’s younger sister eight-year-old Luba who is perhaps the most courageous and enduring of the four: she’s obsessed with the stars in the sky and has an inquisitive and intelligent mind, a voice that will not be silenced, and a spirit that is perhaps the strongest of all four women.
The party is also a farewell, though a temporary one, for Eliza, who is expected to travel with Sofya and Afton to Russia and stay with them for a few months.
By 1916 Sofya, Max, Akon, Luba, their beloved father Ivan, who works in the Finance Ministry, and his wife Agnessa all flee to their country estate Malen Koye Nebo located near the village of Malinov, Russia.
Eliza (Left) suffers unspeakable loss and finds salvation in the Russian immigrants fleeing Russia to America in hopes of a better future. Eliza does not know if Sofya is dead or alive. All she knows is she wants to help her; and the only way she can is to help these women, whom she welcomes into her home.
Eliza finds herself fighting for these immigrants even if it means losing her prestigious role in society, one of which is having her membership, a membership her family has held for generations, revoked by the Meadow Club ( Above Right) in Southampton, which causes her to loose her friends and her community.
All four women begin her own quest: one to conquer death in order to find sisterhood; one of friendship that is stronger than love; one of motherhood; and the other, a chance at true love.