Martha Hall Kelly

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Martha Hall Kelly

Goodreads Author

in Milton, Massachusetts, The United States


Member Since
September 2014

Martha grew up in Massachusetts and now splits her time between Connecticut and New York City. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years and raised three splendid children, while researching and writing Lilac Girls, her first novel. She has loved writing the prequel, Lost Roses, out in paperback March 2020. You'll find more info about the incredible, true stories behind both books at her website: and clues about the next prequel, a Civil War novel about Caroline's great-grandmother's family, on her ever-changing Pinterest page. ...more

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Martha Hall Kelly I'm so happy you liked Lilac Girls, Anita, and thanks for asking about the next book...I'm working on it now-- a prequel to Lilac Girls. So far it's b…moreI'm so happy you liked Lilac Girls, Anita, and thanks for asking about the next book...I'm working on it now-- a prequel to Lilac Girls. So far it's been just as much fun to write as the first, so that's a good sign!(less)
Martha Hall Kelly Hi Elizabeth,
I did almost ten years of research for Lilac Girls. I started with Caroline's three archives, then went to Warsaw and Lublin Poland and t…more
Hi Elizabeth,
I did almost ten years of research for Lilac Girls. I started with Caroline's three archives, then went to Warsaw and Lublin Poland and to Germany at Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. I also spoke with Ravensbruck survivors, Caroline's friends, colleagues and family and in Paris translated almost 100 of Caroline's letters written in French. And read every book and memoir there is on Ravensbruck/National Socialism/ WWII Poland as well. (At least it felt like every one. :) ) It was really fun.(less)
Average rating: 4.24 · 244,149 ratings · 21,731 reviews · 4 distinct worksSimilar authors
Lilac Girls (Lilac Girls, #1)

4.28 avg rating — 212,327 ratings — published 2016 — 5 editions
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Lost Roses (Lilac Girls, #2)

4.01 avg rating — 31,788 ratings — published 2019 — 29 editions
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Sunflower Sisters

4.52 avg rating — 23 ratings2 editions
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Spring 2016 Debut Fiction S...

3.82 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 2016
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

So Excited to Reveal the Cover for Sunflower Sisters

It has been such an emotional experience writing Sunflower Sisters, the last book of my three about Caroline Ferriday’s family. It all started with Lilac Girls back in 2000 and even then I knew I wanted to write about Caroline’s Woolsey ancestors, her great grandmother Jane Eliza and her seven daughters and son. The Civil War provides an incredible backdrop for this book and I hope you enjoy readi

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Published on August 11, 2020 11:57
Lilac Girls Lost Roses
(2 books)
4.24 avg rating — 244,084 ratings

Related News

Martha Hall Kelly had never written fiction before she penned her 2016 bestselling debut, 'Lilac Girls,' a historical novel inspired by the true...
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Time travel is not the sole dominion of the fantasy genre. There's an alternative way to journey into the past: historical fiction....
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There's no such thing as "too many books." That's our mantra (once again) as we welcome a new year full of irresistible reading....
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Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly
"An amazing well laid out story. There is so much in the book about slavery, women's trials in nursing and the civil war, sisters love and young romantic love. To find out this is based on some real people and then many actual events was inspiring. Th" Read more of this review »
Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly
"It is with joy and sadness that I review Kelly's newest book in her tale of Caroline Ferriday. Sadness because this is to be her last in the series, and joy because it is such a pleasure to enter the world and live a part of the story of Ferriday's a" Read more of this review »
Martha Kelly and 1 other person liked Gina's review of Sunflower Sisters:
Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly
"Thanks to NetGalley for the ecopy for my Kindle.
A Civil War story about a family who fights for the rights and freedom of slaves and the relationship they have with the ones that have escaped slavery- either by being granted freedom from their master" Read more of this review »
Martha Kelly and 1 other person liked Krissy's review of Sunflower Sisters:
Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly
"I have waited for the third and final novel in the Ferriday/Woolsey trilogy. This did not disappoint! In true Martha Hall Kelly fashion all of the characters are wonderful (and despicable) , the writing wonderfully rich, descriptive and captivating. " Read more of this review »
" TL wrote: ""

Martha Kelly answered chagits 's question: Martha Hall Kelly
Here goes: Lilac Girls #1, Lost Roses #2 (just out now in paperback) and Sunflower Sisters #3. (That one comes out next April, 2021)
Martha Kelly wants to read
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng (Goodreads Author)
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" Cathy wrote: "I read Lilac Girls and loved it. I am just finishing Lost Roses and loving it. Really looking forward to your new civil War novel. And y ...more "
Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
Martha Kelly rated a book it was amazing
Lily and the Octopus by Steven  Rowley
Lily and the Octopus
by Steven Rowley (Goodreads Author)
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Somehow Steven Rowley manages to be so moving and funny at the same time. Such a powerful combination. Dog lovers, and any compassionate human, really, keep the Kleenex box close.
More of Martha's books…
“Somewhere in a corner of our hearts, we are always twenty,” I said. How”
Martha Hall Kelly, Lilac Girls

“After that, we were like flies stuck in honey, alive but not really living.”
Martha Hall Kelly, Lilac Girls

“He smiled. “I guess somewhere in a corner of our hearts, we are always twenty.”
Martha Hall Kelly, Lilac Girls


Vote For 1 Book For November 2016- Top 2 Win

Mrs. Miniver Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struther by Jan Struther
The Times columns were short reflections on everyday life, based in part on Struther's own family and experiences. While the columns started out as lighthearted domestic scenes where the outside world barely intruded, the approach of World War II slowly brought darker global concerns into Mrs. Miniver's world. One of the more memorable pieces appears near the middle of the series, where the Minivers get gas masks.
  4 votes 26.7%

City of Thieves City of Thieves by David Benioff by David Benioff
During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.
  3 votes 20.0%

The One Man The One Man by Andrew Gross by Andrew Gross
1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge. Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.
  2 votes 13.3%

Salt to the Sea Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys by Ruta Sepetys
Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.
  1 vote 6.7%

Lilac Girls Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly by Martha Hall Kelly
Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and secrets that were hidden for decades.
  1 vote 6.7%

Broken Angels Broken Angels by Gemma Liviero by Gemma Liviero
A Nazi doctor. A Jewish rebel. A little girl. Each one will fight for freedom—or die trying.
  1 vote 6.7%

Mischling Mischling by Affinity Konar by Affinity Konar
A superbly crafted story, told in a voice as exquisite as it is boundlessly original, Mischling defies every expectation, traversing one of the darkest moments in human history to show us the way toward ethereal beauty, moral reckoning, and soaring hope.
  1 vote 6.7%

Sarah's Key Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay by Tatiana de Rosnay
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.
  1 vote 6.7%

War Brides War Brides by Helen Bryan by Helen Bryan
With war threatening to spread from Europe to England, the sleepy village of Crowmarsh Priors settles into a new sort of normal: Evacuees from London are billeted in local homes. Nightly air raids become grimly mundane. The tightening vice of rationing curtails every comfort. Men leave to fight and die. And five women forge an unlikely bond of friendship that will change their lives forever.
  1 vote 6.7%

The Safest Place in London The Safest Place in London by Maggie Joel by Maggie Joel
On a frozen January evening in 1944, Nancy Levin, and her three-year-old daughter, Emily, flee their impoverished East London home as an air raid siren sounds. Not far away, 39- year-old Diana Meadows and her own child, three-year-old Abigail, are lost in the black-out as the air raid begins. Finding their way in the jostling crowd to the mouth of the shelter they hurry to the safety of the underground tube station.
  0 votes 0.0%

The Winds of War The Winds of War (The Henry Family, #1) by Herman Wouk by Herman Wouk
Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American.
  0 votes 0.0%

Eye of the Needle Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett by Ken Follett
One enemy spy knows the secret to the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin -- code name: "The Needle" -- who holds the key to ultimate Nazi victory.
  0 votes 0.0%

15 total votes

Topics Mentioning This Author

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Play Book Tag: Nicole R's 2016 Reading Challenges 9 40 Feb 01, 2016 03:11PM  
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.”
Alan Bennett, The History Boys

“History does not always repeat itself. Sometimes it just yells, 'Can't you remember anything I told you?' and lets fly with a club.”
John W. Campbell Jr.

“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

“Though [Abraham Lincoln] never would travel to Europe, he went with Shakespeare’s kings to Merry England; he went with Lord Byron poetry to Spain and Portugal. Literature allowed him to transcend his surroundings.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin

“If she could have done one thing to make absolutely sure that every single person in this school will read your interview, it was banning it!”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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