A review of Historical Fiction novels, Lilac Girls and Secrets of a Charmed Life. #BookReview #books #audiobook
Book Review,  Historical Fiction

Book Review: Lilac Girls & Secrets of a Charmed Life

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The books that I read this month were both great historical fiction novels and both are centered around World War II. Although these  books focused on the same era, the perspectives of each were completely different.

“Lilac Girls” focused on Poland and the women’s prison at Ravensbrück. Then, “Secrets of a Charmed Life” centered around the evacuation of the children in London, England.

Both of these books encapsulate an era that needs to be remembered so the travesties are never repeated.

Book:  Lilac Girls

Author: Martha Hall Kelly

Narrators: Cassandra Campbell, Kathleen Gati, Kathrin Kana & Martha Hall Kelly

Listening Time: 17 hour and 30 minutes

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. ~Goodreads

A review of Historical Fiction novels, Lilac Girls and Secrets of a Charmed Life. #BookReview #books #audiobookI have mixed feelings about this book. I absolutely love the story but listening to the descriptions of the abuse these women faced in the prison camp was very hard. Taking breaks during this part of the book was a must. I am in no way saying not to listen to this book, I am saying to be aware that some parts are intense and disturbing. I think actually reading it instead of listening during these parts would have been easier. It is also important to tell these stories and to never forget these atrocities.

The characters are endearing, charming and slip themselves into your heart so smoothly that you don’t notice until you start cheering for them, crying for them, laughing with them and being happy for them. I ran the complete gamut of emotions during this book!

The narrators did an amazing job bring these characters to life. I will be looking for more of their work.

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Book:  Secrets of a Charmed Life

Author: Susan Meissner

Narrator: Alana Kerr Collins

Listening Time: 11 hours and 26 minutes

1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, one million children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage… –Goodreads

A review of Historical Fiction novels, Lilac Girls and Secrets of a Charmed Life. #BookReview #books #audiobookSecrets of a Charmed Life has easily been placed in my Top 10 List of Historical Fiction novels. The writing style of Susan Meissner is so laid back that you almost fall into the story and become a part of it.

Every twist and turn that could be made was made in this book. It was one of the reasons that this book is now among my favorites. Just as I thought that I had it all figured outb, something else would happen that completely changed the story.

If you are a fan of World War II Historical Fiction, you will love this book.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have not chosen books for July yet because it is so hard to decide. If you have any book recommendations for me just leave it in the comments below!

*check out some of my other favorite books in the sidebar*


  • Joan

    Jen, both of these books sound like must-reads. In the summer, I tend to only do really light “beach reads” that I can contemplate with a mojito or Planter’s Punch in hand, little to no concentration required. By September I’m ready for something to really sink my teeth into, so I will put both of these on my reading list for this fall.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Mrs. Cherry

    Both of these books sound very interesting. Personally, I love books written in a different era in time. It’s a good way to escape and see a different perspective. Great choices! 👍🏻

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