Rated of 5
by Denise Wonderful debut novel by Ellen Marie Wiseman
This is the story of Christine, a young German girl and her true love, Isaac, a Jewish fellow from a wealthy family. Other primary characters include Christine's very likable family, secondary characters being Isaac's family, Christine's friend Kate and various villagers. The story is set in a small village in Nazi-occupied Germany during WW2 which is my favorite period of history.
The story follows Christine's romance with Isaac and her family's struggles through the war which includes bombings, hunger, death and concentration camps--all of the horrific events that occurred in WW2. As the story advances, we see how the war changes Christine, how she copes and reigns over tragedy and hardship. It is very hard to put this book down.
The beauty of a good WW2 novel is in the details, and this author certainly provides the reader with a plethora of authentic details. It made my heart sing when she named four of my very favorite WW2 novels (THOSE WHO SAVE US, SKELETONS AT THE FEAST, THE BOOK THIEF and SARAH'S KEY) in the acknowledgements as being books she relied upon in her research. She also acknowledged FRAUEN: GERMAN WOMEN RECALL THE THIRD REICH which is fantastically interesting. Every time I read a WW2 novel about the day-to-day life of the average German, I learn more than I knew before, and this author really provided a lot of new fascinating details. It is most heartwarming to know that many of them came from her German mother and
This is a really terrific debut novel, and I will recommend it to many others
Rated of 5
by Jacquelyn H. DON'T MISS THIS ONE
Some may think this is just another WWII horror story but it isn't. Yes, it is a horror story giving fascinating facts about what life was actually like in the concentration camps - the despair allied with hope.Yet, it is far more than Concentration camp horror. It tells about home life in the midst of war. It also tells of love complications, family, community, and personal complications. The book contains many twists and turns showing that all of the horror isn't just black and white and decisions made along the way and may bring unexpected consequences. The characters are well drawn and believable. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
Rated of 5
by Amy I couldn't put down The Plum Tree
The Plum Tree captured my heart and I carried it around until I was finished reading, stealing moments whenever I could just to get in another page or two or ten.
Not only was the WWII, the German landscape, the family characterizations, and the historical essence incredibly vivid -- but it was well-balanced. I didn't feel too overwhelmed by the sadness or by the love story. I thought Wiseman's writing was eloquent, literary and yet completely accessible to everyone.
I believe that The Plum Tree is going to become a modern classic love story.
Rated of 5
by Anne Barnhill Loved This Book!
The Plum Tree, by Ellen Wiseman, brings the reader into Germany during WWII. At the heart of the book is Christine Bolz, a young woman who lives with her family in a small village. This book, hauntingly terrifying yet filled with great humanity, explores the ethical dilemma facing citizens when their government has gone wrong. I completely enjoyed this book!
Rated of 5
by Erika Robuck Outstanding Historical Fiction
Set in Germany during the second world war, THE PLUM TREE, is the story of a young, poor, Christian woman who falls in love with her wealthy employer’s son, a young, Jewish man named Isaac. As their secret love blooms, Hitler’s dark shadow begins to spread over the land by way of anti-semitic posters, propaganda, and oppressive laws, including the Nazi proclamation that Christians could no longer work for Jews.
Torn apart as their love is just beginning to bloom, Christine and Isaac believe their bond cannot be broken by physical separation alone, and vow to find each other after the war. But as the increasing horrors of living in war-time Germany build, Christine and Isaac find themselves facing the unimaginable hell of the Nazi concentration camps, where every moment of every day means the difference between life and death, survival and destruction.
THE PLUM TREE is powerful and highly evocative. Memorable and honorable characters populate its pages, and Wiseman provides a window into the lives of ordinary German citizens as horror struck by the Nazis as the rest of the world. Her attention to research and historical detail is clear and fascinating, and I learned so much about the German people at that time that I’d never known. Christine and Isaac are worthy protagonists, facing hardship with humanity, determination, and vast but believable courage, and the portrayal of the bonds of family in THE PLUM TREE is particularly moving.
It’s no easy task to write a novel set during the second World War that explores new territory with characters of the greatest worth and hope, but Wiseman has done so to great effect. I was moved to tears many times during THE PLUM TREE, and its characters will stay with me long after I’ve finished reading the book. If you enjoyed Tatiana de Rosnay’s SARAH’S KEY or Jenna Blum’s THOSE WHO SAVE US, you will love THE PLUM TREE. I give it my highest recommendation.
Rated of 5
by Barbara Claypole White A Thumping Good Read
I'll be honest, I had mixed feelings about reading The Plum Tree. As the wife of a Jew and the mother of a teenager who would have been considered impure by the Nazis, I struggle with anything that circles the Holocaust. However, as a Brit, I grew up on firsthand stories of hardship during the Second World War. It was always the stories of everyday actions--some heroic, some not--that resonated with me. And this is what I loved most about The Plum Tree--the level of detail that allows readers to experience the lives of ordinary Germans during a moment in history that was anything but ordinary.
And yet The Plum Tree is much more than just a glimpse into rural family life during the evils of the Nazi regime. It's also a thumping good read--a hopeful story of survival, courage, and resilience. Christine is a fabulous heroine, and once I hit the half-way mark, you could not have wrestled her from me with a crowbar.
I hate spoilers, so I'll only say this: The novel is not over once the Allies liberate Germany. The plot twists and the shades of grey layered into Christine's story kept me engrossed until the last page. As her father says, "War makes victims all."
Judge rules unused Borders gift cards to be worthless(May 23 2013) Borders owes nothing to holders of roughly $210.5 million of gift cards that had not been used by the time the bookstore chain shut down, a Manhattan federal...