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Where Lilacs Still Bloom


Where Lilacs Still Bloom Cover

ISBN13: 9781400074303
ISBN10: 1400074304
Condition: Standard
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Narita, August 10, 2013 (view all comments by Narita)
Ms. Kirkpatrick is one of my favorite historical fiction authors! I love the way she takes true stories and solid historical facts then seamlessly weaves in fictional details. This is based on the true story of Hulda Klager a German immigrant with only an 8th grade education. What she lacked in years of schooling she made up for in her God given genius in horticulture.
Her love of plants came from her father. Her first “mission” was to develop a larger apple that tasted great and peeled with ease. All because she wanted to be able to make apple pies faster! After many years she accomplished her goal.
Her next passion was to produce a specific new color of lilac that also had more petals that the standard lilac. Once that was accomplished she continued to work with her favorite flower until she had created 100’s of other varieties.
She achieved this while caring for and raising a family. Her massive flower garden began to attract attention far and wide to the point they had 1000’s of visitors each year. She truly earned her name, the “Lilac Lady”.
While Hulda’s story itself was fascinating I found some very important lessons to be learned from her life. One was her amazing perseverance. Her beloved plants were stomped by animals and a different times flooded by the nearby river. Each time she dealt with the damage and start again. The last time a flood completely destroyed her garden to the point all that was left was some large trees. At the age of 83 she started over. Now that is faith and determination at its greatest!
She also faced opposition from her pastor and others in pursuing her dream. They felt she was “tampering” with God’s creation. Guilt plagued her that she was spending too much time on her flowers and neglecting her family. Each time she faced opposition within or without, she turned to God for her answers.
Her strong faith brought her through many painful losses of those she loved. Again she turned to the Lord for her strength and guidance.
Hulda never wanted to “get rich” and was even resistant to selling her hybrids to companies and individuals. She just wanted to share the flowers she loved so much. Not once even when fame came her way did she grow prideful in her success. She remained humbled and very much in awe at the attention she drew.
I believe she was able to continue on and leave such an amazing legacy because her focus was always on her Lord and the task she believed He had given her.
Hulda died in 1960 at the age of 96. Today you can still visit her gardens that have been restored and maintained. Many of the lilacs she planted are still there. After reading the book I want to purchase a Hulda Klager lilac! An interesting and entertaining book that will inspire you in your faith!
Be sure to go to and check out more of Jane Kirkpatrick’s wonderful books!
I received this book free from Waterbrook Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own
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Tante Bitte, May 15, 2012 (view all comments by Tante Bitte)
A beautiful story based on the life of Hulda Klager (1863-1960), whose legacy as the Lilac Lady remains evident today in her gardens in Woodland, Washington. As many of Kirkpatrick's historical novels portraying courageous women, this one also left a lasting impression, invoking a desire to pursue ones dreams despite hardships that life throws at us. Such amazing detail given to the characters and life surrounding Hulda, that when I was privileged to visit the "real" farmhouse and garden for the first time, I thought I had been there before!
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Virginia Campbell, March 31, 2012 (view all comments by Virginia Campbell)
"Where Lilacs Still Bloom: A Novel", by Jane Kirkpatrick, is based on the remarkable true life story of Hulda Klager. A German immigrant and a "farm wife" with only an eighth-grade education, Hulda's natural intellect and intuition, along with a burning curiosity, allowed her to develop hundreds of hybrid fruit and flower varieties, especially lilacs. The book is beautifully written--an inspiring and life-affirming tribute to the courage and spirit of the amazing Hulda Klager. The book begins in 1948, with a brief prologue during which the flood waters are rising and threatening to destroy Hulda's work of a lifetime. She is eighty-five years old, and as she looks down on the surging waters from the safety of a bluff, she recalls her life story. What a story it is! As the book unfolds, we share with Hilda her triumphs and sorrows, and her indomitable spirit shines throughout the years. In her own way, she was a pioneer for women's rights, a scientist, an environmentalist, and an example for anyone who won't take no for a final answer. There is a pure, timeless joy in putting a seed into the ground, nurturing its growth, and watching it come into its full glory. Hulda did all that and more, ever adding newer and more sustainable plant varieties that she first cultivated in her agile mind. The real Hulda survived until 1960, when she passed away at the age of 96. I am now in my early fifties, and I cannot imagine living four more decades, much less being vibrant and vital until the very end. Hulda outlived her beloved husband Frank, all of her children, and all of her brothers and sisters. Her gardens were restored after the disastrous flood of 1948, and to this day, they remain open to the public. The "Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens" are a National Historic Site located in Woodland, Washington. The "Hilda Klager Lilac Society" revived her annual “Lilac Days” each spring when the lilacs come into bloom, selling lilac plants to visitors just as when Hulda Klager was there. As generations come and go, Hulda's sweetly scented legacy continues to enrich lives with its beauty.

Review Copy Gratis WaterBrook Press
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Product Details

Kirkpatrick, Jane
Waterbrook Press
Literature-A to Z
Christianity-Christian Fiction
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
8.2 x 5.5 x 1 in 0.8188 lb

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Where Lilacs Still Bloom Used Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages Waterbrook Press - English 9781400074303 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Kirkpatrick's (The Daughter's Walk) latest work, a fictional account of real-life gardener Hulda Klager, was inspired by the German immigrant who came to be known as the Lilac Lady from Woodland, Wash. Beginning with her pursuit of a better baking apple, the book chronologically follows Klager's horticultural enterprises, most notably her creation of more than 250 distinct varieties of lilacs. Kirkpatrick's research ferreted out a woman who worked diligently, and in relative obscurity, simply for the love of her craft. Sadly, Klager's accomplishments were entwined with deeply personal tragedies, told with as much historical accuracy as possible. Her family's misfortunes and heartbreaks serve to reinforce Klager's belief in the value of ornamentals, but some readers may not sympathize with a woman who seems to care more for plants than for her family or their finances. In addition to Hulda's family members, additional characters join the story at random intervals, making the character listing at the front of the book most helpful in reminding readers who is who. Told primarily in Hulda's voice, the book meticulously explains her means and methods; however, the horticultural detail might tire those readers who are not flower fanatics.. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , 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.”

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