Ellen Marie Wiseman handles the dark subject of WWII very well. The book was a deeply moving view on those personally affected by the war in 1930s and 40s Germany, the lives of ordinary German people. Men drafted to war even if they were in disagreement with Hitler's views, families left hungry and villages bombed. The protagonist Christine Bolz is just a German citizen, not Jewish nor a Nazi. She is an innocent bystander to the horrors of the war. The horrors experienced by the Jews are not left out, as Wiseman also tells the story of Christine's Jewish love interest, Isaac Bauerman. The slower first half of the book is made up for by the tense second half, which is impossible to put down. Overall, a highly recommended work of fiction. - Chloe
— From Staff Picks
A deeply moving and masterfully written story of human resilience and enduring love, The Plum Tree follows a young German woman through the chaos of World War II and its aftermath. "Bloom where you're planted," is the advice Christine Bolz receives from her beloved Oma. But seventeen-year-old domestic Christine knows there is a whole world waiting beyond her small German village. It's a world she's begun to glimpse through music, books--and through Isaac Bauerman, the cultured son of the wealthy Jewish family she works for. Yet the future she and Isaac dream of sharing faces greater challenges than their difference in stations. In the fall of 1938, Germany is changing rapidly under Hitler's regime. Anti-Jewish posters are everywhere, dissenting talk is silenced, and a new law forbids Christine from returning to her job--and from having any relationship with Isaac. In the months and years that follow, Christine will confront the Gestapo's wrath and the horrors of Dachau, desperate to be with the man she loves, to survive--and finally, to speak out. Set against the backdrop of the German homefront, this is an unforgettable novel of courage and resolve, of the inhumanity of war, and the heartbreak and hope left in its wake. Advance Praise For Ellen Marie Wiseman's
The Plum Tree "The Plum Tree is a touching story of heroism and loss, a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of love to transcend the most unthinkable circumstances. Deft storytelling and rich characters make this a highly memorable read and a worthy addition to the narratives of the Holocaust and Second World War." --Pam Jenoff, author of The Ambassador's Daughter "A haunting and beautiful debut novel." --Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August "In The Plum Tree, Ellen Marie Wiseman boldly explores the complexities of the Holocaust. This novel is at times painful, but it is also a satisfying love story set against the backdrop of one of the most difficult times in human history." --T. Greenwood, author of Two Rivers
"An unusual point of view on the Holocaust. The Plum Tree] is a story of star-crossed lovers in a time of genocide. . .The details are exquisite and very thorough. Young adult readers will find it refreshing to read a different perspective toward WWII Germany. The terrors of the war will ignite compassion and disbelief." - VOYA Magazine
About the Author
Ellen Marie Wiseman was born and raised in Three Mile Bay, a tiny hamlet in Northern New York. Ellen lives on the shores of Lake Ontario with her husband, two spoiled Shih Tzus, and a rescued yellow lab. She loves to cook, travel, garden, watch movies, and spend time with her children and grandchildren. To date, her books have been translated in 17 languages and territories. For more, visit: ellenmariewiseman.com.