A gripping, emotional journey as one brave young
woman’s search for the truth about her missing twin leads
to an infamous institution called Willowbrook . . .

Coming August 30, 2022


About The Lost Girls of Willowbrook

New York Times bestselling author Ellen Marie Wiseman masterfully viscerally evokes the real-life Willowbrook State School, the infamous Staten Island, New York, mental institution that shocked a nation when exposed in the 1970s as a dumping ground for unwanted children.  Girl, Interrupted meets Shutter Island in this gripping narrative of social injustice, survival, and a young woman determined to find her sister.

Also by Ellen Marie Wiseman

About the Author

Ellen Marie Wiseman is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels have been translated into twenty languages. She loves to write suspenseful historical sagas about everyday people caught up in extraordinary circumstances while shining a light on little-known social injustices of the past and celebrating the resiliency of the human spirit. The rest of the time she likes to cook, watch movies, swim, and play with her grandkids.


“Captivating in its complexity…the story reaches a place of immense emotional depth and psychological turmoil, culminating in an unexpected, heartrending ending.”

— RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars, TOP PICK!


“A sumptuous plot balances horror and tenderness to reveal lesser-known facets of history… The Life She was Given is a vibrant maze of desires. The sharp divide between expectations and painful truths, mothers and daughters, past and present, culminate in a sensational finale.”

— ForeWord Reviews



“Wiseman excels at creating an atmosphere…her characters are all vividly drawn and complex... Fans of Karen White and Sara Gruen will be drawn in by the drama and mystery of Wiseman’s novel.”




"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."

— Publishers Weekly


“…a can’t-put-it-down novel...Perfect for book clubs and readers who admired Sara Gruen’s Like Water for Elephants.”

— Library Journal STARRED REVIEW



"The Plum Tree will find good company on the literal or electronic shelves of those who appreciated Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian, Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, and Night by Elie Wiesel. Though in the same picture frame as these great classics, Ms. Wiseman’s story stands firmly on its own two feet and deserves a bright spotlight on the literary stage.”

— The New York Journal of Books


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