Where Lilacs Still Bloom

074303: Where Lilacs Still Bloom Where Lilacs Still Bloom
By Jane Kirkpatrick / WaterBrook Press

Title of Book: Where Lilacs Still Bloom
Author: Jane Kirkpatrick
ISBN 978-1-4000-7430-3
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: Will go on sale April17, 2012
Reviewer: Dell Smith Klein

German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Krager 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 Krager, Where Lilacs Still Bloom is a story of triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds and the power of a generous heart.
Jane Kirkpatrick, author of Where Lilacs Still Bloom, has led a fascinating life — one that could be the basis for a novel, much like the ones she writes. Kirkpatrick grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, worked as a director of a mental health program in Oregon, spent 26 years “wrestling wind and rattlesnakes” on land near the John Day River and worked as a mental health and education consultant on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Central, Oregon.
Kirkpatrick’s books have sold over 500,000 copies. Where Lilacs Still Bloom is her 22nd book. She and her husband Jerry live in Bend, Oregon. Kirkpatrick has two lilacs from the Hulda Krager Gardens in Woodland, Washington. You can read more about this author at http://www.jkbooks.com/
It was fun to receive an “Advanced Reading copy” of Where Lilacs Still Bloom. I know very little about Lilacs, but certainly enjoyed the glimpses of people who populated this book. What I saw in the book was a tough woman who didn’t let flooding or those around her destroy her faith in God or in herself. I also saw hard-working people who, even in the midst of difficult circumstances, looked to better themselves, and show compassion for others.
When her garden was flooded out, Hulda Krager continued to re-plant and re-create her garden. What a great lesson to never give up. Given the opportunity, I hope one day to visit the town called Woodland, Washington to see Hulda Krager’s Lilac Garden. The garden will be open to the public during Lilac Days, from 10 to 4 on April 21 to May 13, 2012. The garden can be found at 115 S. Pekin Road. In the meantime, I’ll visit www.lewisriver.com and www.lilacgardens.com/history.html to look at photos and read history of Hulda’s Lilacs. I submit that one day, I will also hold in my hand a cultivar from Hulda’s garden.
Yes, I recommend Jane Kirkpatrick’s Where Lilacs Still Bloom to anyone who loves gardening, flowers, or loves reading about strong women.

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