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Where Lilacs Still Bloom: A Novel

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  632 Ratings  ·  146 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
ebook, 400 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by WaterBrook
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Georgia Herod
Jan 01, 2013 Georgia Herod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 18, 2017 Christy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just another great read from Kirkpatrick about Hulda and her life in her garden and the many lives she touched. Very interesting and a wonderful look at family and friends. Lifespan books can be a little sad and this one was no different. I would recommend if you read this book to skip reading the prologue; it was actually a little bit of a spoiler. Wonderful!!
Arletta Dawdy
Sep 01, 2012 Arletta Dawdy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 20, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Jan 06, 2014 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
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.
Based on the life of a German immigrant, Hulda Klager, the message of this book is such an important one, and the author evoked emotion in me as I was holding back tears several times in the book. (I would have liked a little more character development in some of the side characters.) I liked that the author tried to show how Hulda influenced people's lives all over, and that it came back to her. I like reading stories about unexpected friendships making profound differences in people's lives.

Oct 13, 2015 Dyana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book based on the life of Hulda Klager who was a German immigrant and farm wife who lived between 1864 and 1960. She had only an eighth grade education, but became a pioneer in cross-breeding and hybridization. With the encouragement of her father, she began by creating a crisp, easy peeling apple to make better pies. But her passion was lilacs. By the time she died at the age of 97, she had developed over 250 varieties of lilacs from cross-breeding three surviving Lemo ...more
Kathleen E.
Dec 06, 2011 Kathleen E. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Where Lilacs Still Bloom by Jane Kirkpatrick, c2012

Lilac Days
April 21 - May 13, 2012;
Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, 115 South Pekin Road, Woodland, WA 98674

Lilac Photo from Jane Kirkpatrick's Story Sparks, March, 2012

First, before I begin my review, you absolutely must go to Jane Kirkpatrick's Story Sparks, March, 2012, issue and read "Lilac Love" for yourself! Here is a hint of content, for you won't want to miss this event if you are in the area
Aug 10, 2013 Narita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 20, 2011 Vikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 27, 2012 Lina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Flo Schell
Apr 16, 2016 Flo Schell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the story of Hulda. Through her love and curiosity for lilacs, she touches all those who become a part of her life. One by one, her human helpers in the garden also grow; many going on to teach Hulda's life lessons to their own young ones. Hulda thinks in much the way my mom thinks. One line struck me the most. After one more river overflow, or one more death, Hulda said, "This is what we do". She forged ahead. And this IS what women still do.

I honor this lovely book by adding lila
Christine Morse
Nov 08, 2012 Christine Morse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just visited the Hulda Klager gardens in Woodland. Do it now! It's the perfect time of year.
Courtney Judd
I appreciated Hulda's character. She was a faithful woman who persevered in pursuing her goals despite the grand trials she faced. She overcame many challenges and she defied all odds when it came to both the gardening community and the feminist community. She remained devoted to her family while fostering her God given gift of gardening and shared that gift and the fruits of her labors with the world. It was touching how the community gave back to her after the love and generosity she shared wi ...more
Laura Hall
Read this for book club in one day. Kinda enjoyed reading it that way, since I was forced to really get into the story and stay there. I loved the relationship the main character had with her husband and how they supported each other. I was surprised at how sad it was. She had a hard life. But I can see how her faith and love of her garden helped her overcome some of her obstacles. I've been wanting a better flower garden and this book was definitely inspirational.
Cat Juggler
I enjoyed this book.
You should read it.

I put in a hold request for it in August 2016; finally got it in May 2017😯.
Apr 04, 2012 Sherrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rebecca Graf
Jun 02, 2012 Rebecca Graf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
History is more than rulers, wars, or famous people. History can be found in knowing the past and the origins of the simplest things. These can include flowers. Where did the flowers we take for granted today come from? Where did so many of the versions of lilacs originate? The historical fiction book, Where Lilacs Still Bloom, by Jane Kirkpatrick can help you answer this.

So many historical stories can be told through historical fiction where an author takes some liberties in an event or the lif
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 very small garden. Hulda had a lot of ideas for plant hybridization, I found myself hoping she would accomplish what she kept hop
Lisa Kearns
Jun 24, 2013 Lisa Kearns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received my copy of Where Lilacs Still Bloom free from the Amazon Vine program, in exchange for writing a review.

Based on the cover, I expected this book to be a fluffy historical romance. Happily, I was wrong. This is the somewhat fictionalized story of Hulda Klager, a German immigrant who settled with her husband, Frank, in Woodland, Washington in the 1880s. She only had an 8th grade education, and was a typical woman of her time - raising four children and working on the family farm. Except
Taylor Hoffman
May 22, 2012 Taylor Hoffman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women
Where Lilacs Still Bloom: A Novel by Jane Kirkpatrick tells the real life story of Kulda Klager, a German immigrant with only an eighth grade education who created one of the most notable lilac gardens in the country at her own farmhouse in Woodland, Washington in the early 1900′s. Though she endured many personal tragedies, including burying her beloved husband Frank and all of her children, she continued to bless others with the gift of beauty in the form of her precious flowers. At the end of ...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
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
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.

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
Apr 19, 2016 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I completely "felt" this book, and I savored every single word. I loved the author's style, and admired the beautiful use of our language to express herself so eloquently. This book tapped into so many different emotions of mine, and I am quite sure it will stick with me for a long while. From the beginning to the end, I felt like I was in a favorite spot of mine - in a cushy chair, with the fireplace burning, and a quilt draped over me. Comfort and familiarity.
At times - when reading about Huld
Feb 22, 2017 Dianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. I didn't know Hulda was a real person until the author's notes at the end.
Mar 17, 2012 M.E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For my full review, please visit my website:

Where Lilacs Still Bloom is about a German immigrant named Hulda Klager. She’s a farmer’s wife, a mother, and she has a passion for plants. More than just growing plants, her passion includes hybridizing them too, and that is just not something women do…mostly if the year is 1889. Luckily for Hulda her husband is a supporter of her so-called hobby.

From creating a bigger and more crisper apple, to the hybridizati
Erin Cataldi
Apr 25, 2012 Erin Cataldi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kirkpatrick brings us a story of one woman's restoration from personal grief to the meaning of community."
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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.” 13 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.” 1 likes
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