Thursday, May 24, 2012

Where Lilacs Still Bloom by Jane Kirkpatrick

One woman, an impossible dream, and the faith it took to see it through.

German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth-century expectations for a simple housewife. 

Through the years, seasonal floods continually threaten to erase her Woodland, Washington garden and a series of family tragedies cause even Hulda to question her focus. In a time of practicality, can one person’s simple gifts of beauty make a difference? 

Based on the life of Hulda Klager, Where Lilacs Still Bloom is a story of triumph over an impossible dream and the power of a generous heart. 

“Beauty matters… it does. God gave us flowers for a reason. Flowers remind us to put away fear, to stop our rushing and running and worrying about this and that, and for a moment, have a piece of paradise right here on earth.”


When I started to read Where Lilacs Still Bloom, I was unsure how much I was going to enjoy it. I usually don't like books that start with an event that will occur very late in the story, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this book.

Hulda's passion for plants is not something I share, but it was so well described that I would love to start a very small garden. Hulda had a lot of ideas for plant hybridization, I found myself hoping she would accomplish what she kept hoping to with her plants. And I have to say that what she wound up achieving was astounding!

If Hulda's real family was as supportive of her as portrayed in this book, she was very blessed to have them. Her husband especially, was written in such a way that you can't help but love him - in many ways he reminds me of my grandfather. It was sad how long it took Hulda to trust her husband with her passion for plant hybridization, but I think a big reason for it was because her father had discouraged her from trusting him with it. He didn't think her husband would understand, let alone support her with it - how wrong he was!

Hulda had many trying times and heartaches in this novel, which I could always see coming as it was very obvious when something bad was going to happen. I am not sure if this was intentional or not, but I prefer to be surprised with both the good and the bad. Anticipating the bad things lessened the sad feelings I might have had, had it been more of a surprise.

Where the Lilacs Still Bloom covers a span of nearly 70 years, so needless to say there wasn't a lot of time spent with some of the supporting characters for me to feel a connection with them. However, I have read other books that have covered a time-frame of lesser time and weren't as enjoyable as this one. I thought the book was well paced and I hardly ever felt the story was rushed or skipped over as I have with other books that covered a time-frame like this.

Where the Lilacs Still Bloom is the first book I have read by Jane Kirkpatrick, but I am looking forward to reading more by her - hopefully soon! If you are looking for a novel that is based on a true story, I would highly recommend this one.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

Product Details:
  • Paperback: 384 pages 
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (April 17, 2012) 
  • Language: English 
  • ISBN-10: 1400074304 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400074303 
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Available to purchase at


  1. Great review Megan! I loved this book as well and gave it 5 stars too! Fabulous writing!
    My review is here, if you could rank it for me I'd appreciate it. I'm about to do the same for you =)

  2. I rated your review here also for the Blog For Books, I didn't see the widget if it was up before =)
    Rated it 5 for you.

    1. Thanks for rating it! Blogging For Books site wasn't working when I first posted my review, so I couldn't add the widget right away.

  3. Great review Megan. I have on my wish list.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com