Where Lilacs Still Bloom: A Novel, by Jane Kirkpatrick, is a novel written about the life of German immigrant, Hulda Klager.
Mrs. Klager, a wife and mother, begins her experimentation with hybridization upon desiring a better apple, one that is more crisp and sweet. And from there, her experimentation with lilac hybridization takes root and blooms.
Through many years, many hardships, and many challenges Mrs. Klager sees her dreams come true. But all along she struggles with feelings of selfishness for wanting to devote so much time to her lilacs. And she often wonders if the many trials her family endures is not because of her devotion to plant hybridization and "acting like God" as some in her community accuse her of doing.
Being a gardener myself, I found this book an extremely enjoyable summer read. I could relate to many of Mrs. Klager's feelings related to balancing her love of flowers with the love and care of her family. And one of the things that really stood out was how Hulda Klager persevered despite some very severe trials and hardships. And her husband who always stood behind her, supporting her endeavors.
And another inspiring aspect to the story was Hulda Klager's generosity, giving away many, many starts from her lilac plants to friends and strangers both. In addition to that, the Klager's willingness to take in young girls to disciple and teach and give a stable place to stay really struck me.
I found this to be a great read. I think that any woman who appreciates and enjoys gardening will enjoy it. And the fact that this book is based on a real woman's life makes it all the more interesting and enjoyable.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for my honest opinion.*