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Where Lilacs Still Bloom: A Novel
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Where Lilacs Still Bloom: A Novel

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  406 ratings  ·  105 reviews
One woman, an impossible dream, and the faith it took to see it through.

German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at
ebook, 400 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by WaterBrook Press
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Arletta Dawdy
The story of how Jane Kirkpatrick came to write of where lilacs bloom is as delightful as her depiction of a life well and beautifully lived. She knew of Hulda Klager but a passionate devotee gradually tweaked Kirkpatrick’s interest until her great research skills and imagination were fully engaged. The result is a charming and insightful characterization of a woman obsessed with ideas of hybridization.
The story develops from Hulda’s success i
Georgia Herod
I am a huge Kirkpatrick fan. Her historical research is meticulous, her characters dynamic, her prose is beautifully written. I never want to stop reading and I never want her books to end!

Based on the life of Hulda Klager, a woman who loves her gardens, a gardener who is challenged by possibilities through hybridization of lilacs and other plants, Where Lilacs Still Bloom is a "story of triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds and the power of a generous heart."

Hulda faces the physical and e
Katelyn Shear
Where Lilacs Still Bloom review:

3 stars. Cover: 4 stars.
Review: "Where Lilacs Still Bloom" is better than most books I have read from Jane Kirkpatrick. I could actually finish this book. But I just didn't "like-like" it. I've never liked fictionalized non-fiction, and most of the characters were boring. And I did not see the point of adding fake people to the story, when most of them had no impact to the outcome of the story. The best thing about this book was the cover. There were a few scenes
It was fun to meet Hulda Klager in Where Lilacs Bloom by Jane Kirkpatrick. In the present days, Jane Kirkpatrick met Betty Carlson Mills, Hulda's granddaughter-in-law and went to Lilac Days in Hulda's garden. She also got several of Hulda's cuttings for her garden. This is where Jane Kirkpatrick got the idea for this book. So this is a book where some facts are known and a story is built around those facts.
The story began in 1889. We learned about the hardships and successes that Hulda and he
What I most liked about this book was learning about all the different varieties and colors of lilacs, one of my favorite flowers. I've never seen a red one and only rarely have I seen pink. Mostly shades of purple or white, sometimes a dark red violet. This is the story of Hulga Klager, a woman who spent much of her life hybridizing the lilacs in her garden, starting with three different bushes she imported from France. Altogether she developed over 250 different varieties! Not only was I amaze ...more
May 28, 2012 Kathryn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathryn by: Author coming to the library June 1 2012
Shelves: 2012, favorites
Jane Kirkpatrick has such a gift of writing a story and making me want to meet and have tea with each and every character. This is a true story which definitely adds to the charm as well as the fact it takes place in the state where I live. I have always enjoyed gardening and love my lilacs and now I cherish them even more.
This book made me want to go on a field trip to Woodland, Wa. Hulda was an inspiring, real-life woman who faced many trials and often wondered if what she was doing in her garden was detracting from her important work as a wife and mother. Although a fictionalized account (only Hulda could have revealed her real feelings) this novel seemed well-researched and was very believable.
Apr 10, 2014 Toni rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women, Book Groups, Gardening Enthusiast
Recommended to Toni by: Grandma
Another wonderful book from Jane Kirkpatrick. My timing of reading this book was quite a coincidence. Our lilacs were getting ready to bloom when I finished this book. I have always loved lilacs and this book was a treat. So it was quite fascinating to me to read about how new varieties were made. The only down side to the book is that it does go back and forth between characters a little too much at times, but Jane provides a nice character listing at the start of the book that can be referred ...more
This was a beautiful, gently told story. I felt nourished and uplifted all through it. I am not a gardener and don't have a lot of I gained a great respect for the gentle persistence it takes to create beauty in a flower garden. I also was encouraged by her story of repetitive floods and trials, and how each time she got up, wiped herself off and started again. Then the last time, when she just couldn't get up another time, all the love and kindness she had shared throughout her li ...more
An absolutely wonderful story of the life of Hulda Klager. This beautifully written story shows one woman's strength and faith. As we travel along the path of Hulda's life we celebrate her highs and feel her pain as she deals with the lows life hands her. The character and tone of this book are well developed and executed in a sound manner. You are given a glimpse into the spirit of Hulda Klager, her fortitude and strength is admired and an example for all to follow. I highly recommend this book ...more
Rebecca Young
Nov 27, 2014 Rebecca Young rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rebecca by: Heather Rodriguez
I loved this book! And for so many reasons. The lower story is that of a young German immigrant wife and mother who does the unbelievable in the world of plant science with only an eighth-grade education. She fights against all odds in the early-twentieth century culture and succeeds in her passion. The upper story is a beautiful picture of perseverance through trials and living a life of faith even in the darkest moments. This work of historical fiction is one that had me crying as so much sadn ...more
Jo Butler
Passion is an emotion usually associated with the young. However, Hulda Klager discovers her passion when she is in her thirties – lilacs. She has experimented with apples and daffodils, cross-breeding for a deeper yellow or an apple crisp enough to make a tasty pie. When she discovers French lilacs in a seed catalogue, her passion is ignited.

Hulda and her husband own a small dairy farm in Washington State at the turn of the twentieth century. Though they have little money to spare, her husband
Nikole Hahn
Where Lilacs Still Bloom by Jane Kirkpatrick moves the heart to weep in this fictionalized true account of German Immigrant, Hulda Klager.

Hulda is a German immigrant in the 1900s. Her obsession with hybridization of plants is an inherited passion from her father. Her father confided to her one day in his orchard that her soon-to-be husband, Frank, would not understand a woman’s passion for something other than her family and household. Hulda thinks if she keeps this gift a secret from her husban
Allizabeth Collins

I had never heard of Hulda Klager before I picked up Where Lilacs Still Bloom, but after reading it, I will never forget her. Hulda was a no excuses kind of woman, full of life and ahead of her time, and Jane Kirkpatrick makes her come to life with a garden of descriptive and colorful words on each page, (no matter if those colors are bright or monochromatic). I believe that no matter who you are and what you know, you can do anything you put your mind to - and that is what I love about
This book scans the life of Hulda Klager, a true story written in fictional form. Hulda's travels had taken her from Germany as a young girl to Woodland Washington. In the quest and dedication of hybridizing the perfect apple from which to make pies, her expertise grew and expanded to other areas, bulbs and then to lilacs. Her gardens, her vast knowledge of plant life, and the way she looked at each plant as individuals being capable of the giving of its beauty, quickly became a trait sought aft ...more
Pamela Barrett
Hulda Krager was a young married woman in 1889 when she first spoke to her father about the desire she had to develop a better apple—one she could peel easier; they grafted a tree in his orchard and from there her interest in horticulture took off. Her fascination with hybridizing then channeled towards flowers and specifically Lilacs. In a time when woman were told that having any interest other than home and family was not in God’s will, Hulda struggled to discern if messing with nature was wr ...more
For years, since moving to the NW in 1983, I've wanted to visit Hulda Klager's Lilac Gardens in Woodland, WA. Every year something else has taken precedence over the trip up I-5 in spring.

I'm so grateful to Jane Kirkpatrick for at least bringing Hulda and her love of flowers to my family room and reading chair. Once again, Kirkpatrick brings her characters to life not only with her words but visual imagery and heart.

Hulda Klager, of German descent as is my husband, shows a stubborn streak which
Marjorie Thelen
Jane Kirkpatrick makes history come alive, and she has done it again with her latest historical fiction, “Where Lilacs Still Bloom”. The book is based on the life of Hulda Klager, a German immigrant who settled with her husband and four children in Woodland, Washington, not far from Vancouver and Portland, Oregon. Hulda was born around 1864 and died at the age of 97, outliving her husband and all her children. Early in her marriage she wanted an apple that wasn't so hard to peel to make apple pi ...more
Renn Shearin

One woman, an impossible dream, and the faith it took to see it through.

German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth-century expectations for a simple housewife.

What a fascinating and strong woman! Hulda Klager was a farm wife who loved to bring beauty to her yard through her flowers. As a young wife, Hulda was irritated by the quality and size of apples and the fact that she had to have so many of them in order to bake just one pie. Hulda and her father begin to graft different varieties of apples onto one tree and to pollinate the blossoms in the hopes of achieving a larger and crisper apple. He encouraged her to use her gift of seeing distinctive tra ...more
I was torn between 3 and 4 stars for this one. I loved so many things about the book. I really found it inspiring. I loved that it is a true story (more or less). Hulda is a completely relatable character. She deals with the perennial worryings that weigh on me - am I spending my time on the things I should be, for example. The author was unafraid to use religion as a motivator for Hulda, which I can also relate to since my faith informs me as well. Hulda was a truly inspiring person who perseve ...more
Erin Cataldi
I was wary from the book from the start. Not because of the cover art or anything but because I'd finished reading another one of Jane Kirkpatrick's novels not too long ago and it put me in a depressed funk for days. Thankfully, I can say my wariness was short lived because these novel was much more upbeat and fun to read. The novel is loosely based on the Life of Hulda Klager, a German immigrant who raised lilacs and a family in Washington. Tending a garden started out as a hobby for Hulda but ...more
Virginia Campbell
"Where Lilacs Still Bloom: A Novel", by Jane Kirkpatrick, is based on the remarkable true life story of Hulda Klager. A German immigrant and a "farm wife" with only an eighth-grade education, Hulda's natural intellect and intuition, along with a burning curiosity, allowed her to develop hundreds of hybrid fruit and flower varieties, especially lilacs. The book is beautifully written--an inspiring and life-affirming tribute to the courage and spirit of the amazing Hulda Klager. The book begins in ...more
I love the historical/biographical fiction genre, particularly when the author has done such a great job of developing a fascinating character that it sends me scurrying to my computer to see what further information I can glean about him/her. Such is the case with WHERE LILACS STILL BLOOM by Jane Kirkpatrick. It tells of the long and challenge filled life of a self-taught horticulturist, German immigrant and housewife Hulda Klager, whose ardent and all consuming passion with the grafting, hybri ...more
Ms. Kirkpatrick is one of my favorite historical fiction authors! I love the way she takes true stories and solid historical facts then seamlessly weaves in fictional details. This is based on the true story of Hulda Klager a German immigrant with only an 8th grade education. What she lacked in years of schooling she made up for in her God given genius in horticulture.
Her love of plants came from her father. Her first “mission” was to develop a larger apple that tasted great and peeled with ease
This is a story about a woman who loves plants - particularly apples and flowers. Her name is Hulda Klager, a German woman with an eighth grade education. She lived early in the 20th century when a woman's role was defined as taking care of the family and spending time in the kitchen preparing food and in the garden gathering and putting food by.

Her interest in plant hybridization probably came from her father who enjoyed it. However, peeling those small apples for pies stimulated her to do som
Celia Kennedy
A bonus book!!

This book is filled with the quiet fulfilling moments of a woman who raises her family in simpler times. Set in Woodland Washington, Hulda Klager, a German Immigrant, builds a life for her family with her husband Frank.

The story begins in the 1880's and concludes in the 1960's. In her rare moments of idle time, she dabbles in hybridizing plants. Initially inspired to create a better apple for pies, Hulda turns her attention to other plants, lilacs. She's thoroughly entranced by th
When I started to read Where Lilacs Still Bloom, I was unsure how much I was going to enjoy it. I usually don't like books that start with an event that will occur very late in the story, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this book.

Hulda's passion for plants is not something I share, but it was so well described that I would love to start a verysmall garden. Hulda had a lot of ideas forplant hybridization,I found myself hoping she would accomplish what she kept hoping
Jane Kirkpatrick has written "Where Lilacs Still Bloom".
Were I not a gardener by the time I finished this book I do believe that I would be.
A German woman with only little education had a burning desire in her for beauty and lilacs, she spent much of her life working to make them sturdier-prettier and More then they were. Her work with the lilacs began after she wanted to change the apple orchard so they would have larger more tasty apples, and grafted to make this happen.
She started with three
Vera Godley
In Washington State, German immigrant Hulda Klager takes her love of flowers, her experience as a farmer's wife, and her limited education to become a bold, adventurous woman when such was absolutely not a normal occurrence.

Without the knowledge and consent of her husband (and such was definitely the thing to do at that period of time), she took her observations of variants in hue and shape, texture and size to begin her experiments in the cultivation of bulbs, shrubs, and apple trees. Her succ
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“Don’t deny the dreams. They’re a gift given to make your life full. Accept them. Reach for them. We are not here just to endure hard times until we die. We are here to live, to serve, to trust, and to create out of our longings.” 9 likes
“Flowers remind us to put away fear, to stop our rushing and running and worrying about this and that, and for a moment have a piece of paradise right here on earth. God offers healing through flowers and brings us closer to Him.” 0 likes
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