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The Plum Tree - Publication December 25th, 2012
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From the publisher:

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 home front, this is an unforgettable novel of courage and resolve, of the inhumanity of war, and the heartbreak and hope left in its wake. 

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“A haunting and beautiful debut novel by Ellen Marie Wiseman, reminiscent of The Diary of Anne Frankand other books that tell of extraordinary acts by ordinary people. Wiseman has a gift for interweaving characters and plot with a setting so real I felt both the horror of repeated air-raid warnings and the promise of hope in a spring day.  This fine novel pits love and survival against a backdrop of hate and treachery amidst the furor of World War II.”
—Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August

“Ellen Marie Wiseman boldly explores the complexitites 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

“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

“... Stories of WWII rarely look at the lives of the average German; Wiseman eschews the genre’s usual military conflicts in favor of the slow, inexorable pressure of daily life during wartime, lending an intimate and compelling poignancy to this intriguing debut.”
—Publisher’s Weekly

“This title is an extraordinary debut novel in which the author’s childhood trips visiting family in Germany impart a heartbreaking realism. A Holocaust story told from the unlikely perspective of a German teenage girl in love with a Jewish boy, it explores the horrors and fears of innocent citizens on the homefront, as well as the risks they were willing to take to do the right thing. Ultimately a story of human survival and enduring love despite insurmountable odds, it’s an original and important addition to the World War II canon.”
—RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars, TOP PICK!

"The meticulous hand-crafted detail and emotional intensity of THE PLUM TREE immersed me in Germany during its darkest hours and the ordeals its citizens had to face. A must-read for WW2 fiction aficionados--and any reader who loves a transporting story."
—Jenna Blum, NYT bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and one of Oprah's Top 30 Women Writers

“Her characters are not just victims, but flesh-and-blood people. If you care about humanity, you must read The Plum Tree.”
—Sandra Dallas, author of True Sisters