Book Review - Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly took the book industry by storm in 2016, not long after I moved to Chicago. I had just been invited to join a book club and this was the book they selected. What a great book for our inaugural meeting! When I heard Martha Hall Kelly was coming out with a prequel to Lilac Girls, I began my campaign to get an advanced copy! They really came through for me, not only did I get an advanced copy of the book, I also got an advanced copy of the audiobook AND Martha Hall Kelly agreed to an interview (check back tomorrow!)
Lost Roses by Martha Hally Kelly is about Eliza Ferriday, the mother of Caroline Ferriday who was the main character in Lilac Girls. The story follows Eliza’s friendship with Sofya who is a cousin to the Romanovs, and Varinka who works as Sofya’s domestic help. Chapters are told from each of the women’s perspectives as World War I unfolds before them. Although the story certainly stands on its own, separate from Lilac Girls, there was a little bit of overlap that fans of Lilac Girls will appreciate.
You know how much I love when characters from historical fiction novels I’ve read previously make appearances in other novels. Well I was so excited when Alva Belmont briefly crossed paths with Eliza Ferriday in a scene that occurs in Paris toward the end of the book. I don’t want to give too much away, but Mrs. Belmont helps Eliza in a small way. Martha Hall Kelly’s second book certainly lives up to the first. The stories are quite different, but the author’s beautiful writing style shines in both. I’m rather amazed at Martha Hall Kelly’s ability to bring stories to life and embed her own creativity while maintaining the integrity of the true story.
I took photos for this book at the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City. Soon after WWI ended, the citizens of Kansas City joined together and raised over $2 million in just ten days for the construction of a monument dedicated to those affected by WWI. The project was completed dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge in 1926. At the time it was known as “Liberty Memorial.” It wasn’t until 2004 that Congress declared it as the nation's official World War I Museum.