An Incredible Day at The Bellamy-Ferriday House

June 10th was such a great day–I got to meet so many wonderful Lilac Girls readers and hang out at the world’s most beautiful place, The Bellamy-Ferriday House and Gardens. Signed a lot of books and we awarded the first ever Caroline Ferriday French Prize to a local high school graduate, Ryan Rescsanski. (If you couldn’t make it, we are doing another event July 15th.)

Hope you enjoy the pictures!

The Hay looked especially beautiful.
The amazing Holly Baider and Marzena Chachaj arrange gorgeous lilacs. Marzena made Polish treats, too.
Signing books in Caroline’s playhouse
Adorable Herman Anderson knew Caroline and he told me some wonderful stories.
My attempt at a lilac selfie.
Caroline’s desk, just as she left it.
Holly’s beautiful work.
One of many lovely book groups!

24 thoughts on “An Incredible Day at The Bellamy-Ferriday House”

  1. I just finished reading your amazing book about the Rabbits” of Ravensbruck. Fascinating and sobering to say the least!

  2. Just finished reading Lilac Girls. In this day and age of false narratives it is especially important to continue telling and retelling the stories of what really happened during WWII. The survivors are dwindling in numbers, their stories should never be forgotten. Thank you for searching and sharing this story.

  3. Hi Ms. Kelly, I had to write and tell how much I enjoyed your book. I couldn’t put it down. I read it in a couple of days. Didn’t get much done around the house. Oh well. It was beautifully written. I cried a lot and laughed. I never knew about the Lilac Girls & Caroline Ferriday. I live in Connecticut. I’m sorry I missed you autograph your book. Maybe next time. I can’t wait for your next book.
    Thanks Again for the privilege of reading a magnificent story.
    Warm Regards,
    Kathleen M Drozd

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kathleen. You have to visit Caroline’s house–I bet you’d love seeing it.

  4. I just now finished reading this amazing story. It had a profound effect on me. In college I had the opportunity to study in France and one weekend trip we traveled to Germany and visited a concentration camp. I was obviously horrified at the thought of humans treating other humans like this. But until reading Lilac Girls I knew nothing about these Polish women and the extreme cruelty which they experienced. It is so hard to imagine. Thank you so much for making all of this come to life for all of us who have the privilege to read your novel. This book/story has transformed me and for that I am extremely grateful. This puts any trials we face in our daily lives totally in perspective. Thank you!

  5. I just finished Lilac Girls and loved it! What a wonderful story. I was sad reading about the horrors of the concentration camp but loved how you made all things right. Thank you for writing such a wonderful book. Can’t wait to read your next one!!

  6. Just finished Lilac Girls yesterday and have been researching the Rabbits at Ravensbruck. Since I know there is a just God, there is no doubt that He has prepared a special hell for those who have inflicted such despicable horror upon these women.

  7. Hello. My mom just finished Lilac Girls and loved it. I am trying to find a polish language version of the book for my grandmother, but I’m having trouble tracking one down – any recommendations on where to find it? Thanks!

    1. Hi Ross,
      Readers tell me there is a Polish bookstore online that carries the Polish version of Lilac Girls. Not sure the name of it but I bet a little creative googling might find it!

  8. I just finished reading Lilac Girls a few minutes ago. I’ve read many books on WWII and the concentration camps but hadn’t read anything about the Polish girls. I found Parts Two and Three most interesting about when they returned home and the Russian takeover of Poland. How they continued to suffer after the war is unbelievable. I’ve not read in detail about what happened to these women after the war. Caroline Ferriday is certainly an unsung heroine and good to know that an American did so much for them. I found your author’s notes most interesting as well. Thank you for writing this book and bringing this to light.

  9. I read this book when it first came out, and absolutely loved it. As a young girl I would hear my dad, a veteran of ww2 and my uncle, a prisoner of war who actually made it out alive, tell stories. And I didn’t want to hear it. Perhaps it was too much. Now, years later, I am fascinated with all things holocaust. So, I read a fair amount about this topic. This was the first I knew anything about The Rabbit Girls. Thank you so much for sharing this information. So, so very hard to believe that things like this take place in the world.
    I would love to attend a book signing sometime! We live in PA, so maybe I can convince my husband that we need a trip to Martha’s Vineyard, or maybe a trip to the Ferriday House. I count this book as a favorite, and hope to read more from you in the future. Thank you for sharing this important information. Mary

    1. Yes, come on out to Martha’s Vineyard–or visit The Bellamy-Feriday House. We are doing a Lilac Girls event there July 15th, but the house is open to visitors through October. So glad you enjoyed the book!

  10. I just finished Lilac Girls and it was so moving. I do have a question on the last paragraph of the book. Was the click them coming together or a click of a gun, I just have y to know. Thanks.

    1. In an earlier Kasia chapter she says she read in a magazine that you know you’re in love when you feel the sound of a compact going “click.” That is what the click refers to.

  11. I became hooked on this book immediately. I first read The Nightengale , taking me into this World War 2 ,the rounding up of the Jews , etc. their lives ,the horrors , the sadness and yet the resilence of these peoples. After I completed it ,a suggestion of other books along the same story line were mentioned, Lilac Girls being the one I choose. I’m so glad I did. It was exhausting, so difficult to read of their tortures, taking of their babies, etc. yet kept me going with hope they would be strong enough to survive,given the chance.
    I was in Russia, Poland in the late 1970s . We were taken by our tour guide to the polish camp in Warsaw. Our guide explained much of what was in these books, the burying of their treasures, churches who buried their icons etc. I suppose being there and enjoying history I was taken in by these books. Thank you for the years of research. I hope to get to ” Caroline’s” home one day.

    1. I’m glad as well that you chose Lilac Girls, Leah. Thank you for sharing your trip in the 70’s–that must have been incredible. I hope you get to Caroline’s house!

  12. Add my name to the legions of those who read your book in two days. My wife suggested I read it because of the Polish character, Kasia, and her family/friends. I was greatly moved by the story and have recommended it to my siostri (sisters). Grandparents on both sides were Polish, and my Buszia and Dziadek on my Mom’s side, along with my Mom, emigrated to the U.S. around the breakout of WWI, which makes me first generation on her side. So many thoughts came to mind while reading “Lilac Girls”, including my friendship with Sonia Warshawsky, a Holocaust survivor. My almost-seven year old Grandaughter just adores Miss Sonia, and we visit her often. I’m always amazed at her positive attitude, after all she had been through. I don’t know that I would feel the same way, but I admire her for it. It reminds me of Anne Frank, whose closing words in her diary were, “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are still good at heart”. I still don’t get it, and will forever be amazed at her feelings about others. Maybe there is hope for this crazy world. Bardzo dziekuje, Pani Kelly. Dobra robota.

    1. Thank you for your lovely note, Tom. I’m so glad you enjoyed Lilac Girls and I agree with you about Anne Frank and the closing words in her diary. I don’t know if I could be so forgiving, either.

  13. Wow!! Picked up your book randomly at Dullest airport and couldn’t put it down. you put so much research into it which makes it more exciting and meaningful. A great book. Can’t wait to pass it on and am ready for your next one

  14. I just heard you speak at the Farraday home yesterday and I just want to thank you for writing such a wonderful book. I am of Polish descent, and I have always looked for books which would be set in Poland or have characters who are of my nationality. I think you did a wonderful job portraying the Polish women as strong, resilient, and intelligent. I especially loved how you showed the closeness of Kasia to her mother and sisters. This is the way I saw all my aunts and female cousins. You must have done wonderful research on Polish customs and celebrations because they always rang true. I treasure this story and will recommend it to all my relatives. My name actually is Katherine – but i was called Kasia until about age 18 – that made it even more special to me. Dziekuje and Sto Lat.

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