The Plum Tree
Barnes & Noble
Published by: Kensington
Release Date: December 24, 2012
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.
“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 WWII aficionados and any reader who loves a transporting story.”
-Jenna Blum, New York Times Bestselling Author of Those Who Save Us
“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
"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 beautifully written first novel…Ellen Marie Wiseman weaves a story of intrigue, terror, and love from a perspective not often seen in Holocaust novels.”
– Jewish Book World
“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!
“Readers who like slower-paced sentimental novels set during WWII will enjoy this novel.”
“Rich family history lies behind The Plum Tree… That depth of experience really shows in Ms. Wiseman’s lush descriptions of Hessental, and of Christina’s struggles to survive World War II. The Jews suffered unspeakably during the Holocaust, but The Plum Tree starkly reminds us that war is hell for everyone. You won’t be able to put this vivid tale of love and survival down.”
– Historical Novels Review
“In beautiful and vivid prose, Wiseman paints a portrait of an ordinary German family during the darkest days of their lives.”
– Diary of an Eccentric
“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
“Although nothing is held back in chronicling the gruesomeness of the Holocaust, the bombing of Germany, and the suffering that millions endured, The Plum Tree also exudes a sense of faith in one’s family, truth and humanity. Its attention to historical detail is to be appreciated, yet these details do not trump the core of the tale, which is both a story about enduring love and the suffering unleashed by Hitler’s mania. 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
“In luminous writing, the author reminds us that the unthinkable could happen anywhere, and that the loss of freedom of speech is an early warning”
– Sacramento Book Review
Books-A-Million Book Club Pick
Top Pick by RT Book Review Magazine
#1 Historical Fiction Bestseller on Amazon
Named one of “Thirteen Books To Read if You Loved ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE” by BookBub