About This Book
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.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Praise for Where Lilacs Still Bloom
“When reading any of Ms. Kirkpatrick’s books, I become engaged, almost instantly, on many levels at once. Where
Lilacs Still Bloom is simultaneously a strong and gentle read of beautiful, spare language. It wooed and won me to Hulda’s story even as it coaxed me to look at my own life as well. Who am I staking up? Do I tend to my husband and my children as well as to my calling? The sweet message that lingers long after the book is closed is the promised truth of sowing and reaping, in gardens, and in life.”
— Sandra Byrd, author of To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
“Jane Kirkpatrick reimagines the true story of a nature-loving wife and mother who studied Luther Burbank and devoted herself to breeding new and improved varieties of lilacs. Families suffer, thrive, and evolve as new flowers emerge in a gentle tale as sweet as its fragrant garden.”
— Jane S. Smith, author of In Praise of Chickens and The Garden of Invention
“Where Lilacs Still Bloom is a charming, delightful story of Hulda Klager’s courage and perseverance on many levels, her gentle defiance of convention, her triumph over natural and personal disasters, and her desire to be sure her work is truly God’s will. Neither the author’s nor Hulda’s use of botanical research ever overpowers Hulda’s story but makes plain for readers her patience and ruthless care in her quest for the blooms she envisions.”
— Carol Buchanan, author of Wordsworth’s Gardens and winner of the 2009 Spur for God’s Thunderbolt: The Vigilantes of Montana
“Having worked with the history of the Thiel and Klager families for over six years now as a board member, I was excited to read how Jane gave the family members such character. I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Hulda and Frank and the way Jane portrayed the youngest daughter, Martha. I loved reading Where Lilacs Still Bloom and visualizing what it must have been like to live in that old house when Hulda and her family lived and gathered there.”
— Judy Card, genealogist and Woodland, Washington, historian
“Extraordinary book. Jane skillfully drops the reader into Hulda Klager’s loving, hardworking pioneer life. She chronicles
Hulda’s family and botanical triumphs and struggles. Thank you for this magical story.”
— Rebecca W. Roberts, secretary of Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens