Martha Hall Kelly

Barnes & Noble Announces Martha Hall Kelly's LOST ROSES as the April 2019 National Book Club Selection!

Courtesy of Finger Lakes Times
Posted April 9, 2019


Barnes & Noble, Inc., the world’s largest retail bookseller, today announced Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly as the April 2019 selection for the Barnes & Noble Book Club, a monthly book club designed to bring readers in communities across the country together to discuss the most compelling books. Barnes & Noble is selling a special Exclusive Book Club Edition of Lost Roses as well as hosting a free Book Club night for customers to discuss the novel in stores across the country on Tuesday, May 7, at 7 PM local time. Customers can buy the book starting today and sign up for the Book Club in their local store or online at

Martha Hall Kelly’s bestselling Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. Now Lost Roses, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.

Lost Roses is a thought-provoking, page-turning story of political and personal revolution that will have readers everywhere talking about the lengths people will go to protect others, family and strangers alike,” said Liz Harwell, Senior Director of Merchandising, Trade Books at Barnes & Noble.

This B&N Exclusive Edition contains a special afterword from Martha Hall Kelly, featuring a deeply personal look at the many travels and journeys she took researching the history and the characters for Lost Roses and Lilac Girls. Customers can buy the book now on, or at their local Barnes & Noble.

Barnes & Noble will hold the Book Club discussions on Tuesday, May 7, at 7 PM, about one month after the book goes on sale. Customers can sign up to attend the discussion online at:

Previous Barnes & Noble Book Club selections include: The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, Clock Dance by Anne Tyler, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green, The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict, The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin, and The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See.

Martha Hall Kelly is Channeling History

Courtesty of AARP Magazine
Oct/Nov 2018 Issue - Written by Martha Hall Kelly

Photo by Ethan Hill

Photo by Ethan Hill

I was never that interested in history. A child of the ’60s, I always thought of myself as a feminist, but I happily deferred to my husband — a poli-sci major — when it came to guessing Jeopardy! questions or helping our three children with their social studies homework. All those treaties and battle dates just didn’t move me. 

So in the spring of 2000, when I drove a couple of hours north of my home to tour the historic Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden in Bethlehem, Connecticut, it was mainly to see the property’s famous lilac gardens. My mom had recently died, and I had a sense that the estate, once the country home of philanthropist and Broadway actress Caroline Ferriday, would take me out of myself and my sorrow for an afternoon.

I lingered among the sweet-scented lilacs, and then on a whim decided to tour the interior. Walking through the rambling 18th-century house, I came to Ferriday’s study, which remains just as she left it when she died, in 1990. On her desk stood a black-and-white photo of a group of smiling women. “Those are the rabbits,” the guide told me. “Prisoners at Ravensbrück, the largest all-female concentration camp in Hitler’s Third Reich.” These Catholic women had been arrested during World War II for their involvement in the Polish resistance. They were called rabbits because Nazi doctors turned them into laboratory animals, operating on their legs to insert glass, dirt and tetanus bacteria, or to remove bone or muscle tissue. Some of the 74 young Polish women subjected to these experiments died of infection or disease; others were executed when their usefulness ended. But 63 survived the war, and of these, Ferriday brought 35 to the U.S. for rehabilitation.

Photo courtesy of The Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden

Photo courtesy of The Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden

After hearing their story, I was unable to get these brave women out of my head. Recently retired from my job as an advertising copywriter, I had been planning to relax. Instead, day after day, I immersed myself in World War II history. I stayed up late, listening to books on tape about sea battles and the Luftwaffe as my husband slept beside me. Before long, I — a person who had never written anything much longer than a TV commercial — was traveling to Europe for research and working 12-hour days to outline a novel based on the rabbits’ story. Funny how curiosity can make a person work harder than any 9-to-5 job ever could.  Keep Reading…

A|U Monthly Muse - June 2018 (Summer Reading Suggestions)

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June 2018: Summer Reading List Suggestions

Whether you're lounging on the beach or swinging in a hammock, here are four books we highly recommend for your summer reading list!

Martha Hall Kelly Addresses Notre Dame Academy Graduates

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Martha Hall Kelly, author and Notre Dame alumna, delivered an address to graduates at the 2018 Notre Dame Academy Commencement. She related her own process of discovering the story of Caroline Ferriday, a socialite who became obsessed with rescuing a group of concentration camp survivors. Kelly’s research would ultimately lead her to write Lilac Girls, a novel that has spent over a year on The New York Times bestseller list.

Kelly told the graduates not to wait as long as she did to start doing what she truly loved and, like Ferriday, to always be on the lookout for ways to help other people. And, never pass up an opportunity to explore something that interests you, she told them.