The novel is 476 pages, published in 2017. There is a supplemental section after the novel of Author's notes and then the reading guide as well as many photographs of the research, trips to Germany, actual photos of the Rabbits, Caroline Ferriday, her remarkable lilacs, Lublin Poland, etc. It is written as the stories of three women, whose lives intersect, beginning in 1939 with Caroline Ferriday, a former Broadway actress and liaison to the French consulate. Kasia Kuzmerick
|Author';s notes first page. |
Being of Polish ancestry I was especially drawn into the nightmare of the stories. I learned on page 207 that "kroliki" in Polish means medical guinea pigs. This caught my eye because my maternal grandfather's half brother's last name was Krolicki. The writing is excellent and originally descriptive throughout the novel, as on page 460, " She and her strong-willed sister Kasia were as different as chalk and cheese" Never heard that comparison before.
Page 163, in Ravensbruck, "As the days grew shorter, Zuzanna warned us to keep our spirits up, for sadness was often a more potent killer than disease. Some just gave up, stopped eating and died."
I give this book a hearty 5 stars *****. I understand the author is working on a prequel now.