Where Lilacs Still Bloom, by Jane Kirkpatrick, is a wonderful book of fiction based on the life of Hulda Klager.
Hulda was born in 1863 and came to America with her family when she was two. With only an eighth grade education she was able to turn her love of hybridizing and lilacs into a rich legacy by creating over 250 new varieties of lilacs.
Her father encouraged her in her experiments and cautioned her that not everyone would think what she did was a respectable or moral thing. Indeed Hulda, herself, sometimes felt guilt that was induced by others, at what some perceived as tampering with nature.
In her 96 years of living, Hulda faced many, many heartaches and losses and even overcame a bout of major depression to triumph over most of the hardships.
Jane Kirkpatrick does a masterful job of integrating composite characters with real people allowing the reader to get to know Hulda, her family, and her hybridizing experiments even better.
The book is very inspirational and exciting. During the course of reading, I found that Hulda’s gardens have been restored and are still available for viewing. I’ve decided, because of my love for lilacs, that I want to visit her gardens sometime soon.
This book was provided for me by Waterbrook Multnomah. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
(Revision from original published on 5-10-2012)