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, New York City and Martha's Vineyard. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years and raised three splendid children, while researching and writing Lilac Girls, her first novel. She is excited to share the prequel, Lost Roses, coming this April and is thrilled she doesn't have to say good-bye to Caroline and Eliza. You'll find more info about the incredible, true stories behind both books at her website: and clues about the prequel Lost Roses on her ever-changing Pinterest page.

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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…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…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: 4.27 · 182,602 ratings · 18,144 reviews · 3 distinct worksSimilar authors
Lilac Girls (Lilac Girls, #1)

4.29 avg rating — 165,325 ratings — published 2016 — 56 editions
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Lost Roses (Lilac Girls #2)

4.01 avg rating — 17,266 ratings — published 2019 — 24 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 Lost Roses is an Earphones Award winner from Audiofile Magazine

This makes me so happy, given all the hard work on the part of Kelly Gildea of Random House Audio and the incredible voice actors. I love Kathleen Gati and her work on Lilac Girls as Kasia and she is absolutely amazing on this one, playing Russian aristocrat Sofya, along with three incredible  voice talents, Tavia Gilbert as Caroline’s mother Eliza, Karissa Vacker as peasant girl Varinka and Cathe...

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Published on June 27, 2019 10:10
Lilac Girls Lost Roses
(2 books)
4.27 avg rating — 182,520 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 st...
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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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Martha’s Recent Updates

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
Martha Kelly and 2 other people liked Lori Luna's review of Lilac Girls:
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
"Learned something new

It took a couple of chapters for me to get interested in this but once I was hooked I refused to put it down.

I have read several books on the Holocaust but had never heard of the Rabbits or Maidens. Highly recommend." Read more of this review »
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
"I said this was amazing because really the story is just amazing. This historical fiction novel is based on the real lives of 2 women: American socialite Caroline Ferriday and German doctor Herta Oberheuser. A third female character, Kasia Kuzmeri..." Read more of this review »
Syrinpikene by Martha Hall Kelly
"This book was so good in so many ways. The descriptions of the events in Ravensbrück was so intense I had to put the book down several times. I loved how the author made one chapter for each girl and how their lives where connected. A book that ma..." Read more of this review »
Martha Kelly answered Kymm's question: Martha Hall Kelly
What a great question, Kymm! It really depends on my TBR pile. Sometimes I have a book hangover after an especially good read and I have no great next book to start so I take a break and other times I can launch right into the next read. In genera... See Full Answer
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.
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Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene
Once More We Saw Stars
by Jayson Greene (Goodreads Author)
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Incredibly moving and uplifting at the same time. Loved it.
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The Editor by Steven  Rowley
The Editor
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Lily and the Octopus by Steven  Rowley
Lily and the Octopus
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More of Martha's books…
“Somewhere in a corner of our hearts, we are always twenty,” I said. How”
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

“After that, we were like flies stuck in honey, alive but not really living.”
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 39 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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