Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again: Friddie’s story
Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again: Friddie’s story
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Friddie, 18, is an ordinary yet rebellious young Jewish woman, living in Bucharest in the 1930s. Born and raised in Romania’s capital, she dreams of living as a “free Romanian woman.”
After calling off her wedding to a young, parentally-approved accountant, she escapes to a city on the coast, where she meets a scientist-perfumer named Freddy. He is the true love she has been looking for—and a ticket to her dream.
Soon, though, that dream turns into a nightmare she never could have predicted.

Friddie’s story of incredible hardship is interwoven with the stories of her family. We follow her Aunt Rosa’s life as the glue of her household, even though she loses her husband in mysterious circumstances; her Uncle David, who dreams of becoming a schoolteacher and starting a family in Iași, and her cousins, who uproot their lives in Bucharest to start again in Israel.
In this tragic-heroic novel, the true stories, the victims, and the small moments of happiness are revealed in the Danube’s labor camps, under the fascist-dictatorial and communist rule that has been a part of Romania for so many years.
Based on the true experiences of a Jewish Romanian family, Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Againunearths stories that could so easily be lost to the passage of time. This family’s tale has emerged at a critical time, to show the need for compassion and kindness, even in the hardest moments.


Book Details


  • Historical Fiction

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
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Friddie Rosenthal has always been charismatic and quite the troublemaker, always making her own decisions in life. Growing up in a strict French private school and a Jewish household in Romania in the 1920s, Friddie quickly learned the power of acting innocent and being persuasive to get what she wants. Despite being a partier throughout her youth, she tells her parents that she will eventually settle down with a nice Jewish man who they will approve of.

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Beautiful, charming, and confident, Friddie lives her young life “as if the universe [is] solely hers.” Friddie is obsessed with being a “free Romanian woman.”  She defies tradition, runs away from an arranged marriage, and meets and marries the man of her dreams. Friddie believes her life is charmed. It is until the horrors of war infect her country. Her world shatters the day she is arrested for consorting with a spy: her husband.

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