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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Some of the recent comments posted about The Plum Tree:
After the war, do you think people were in denial, too busy with their own problems, or just didn’t want to talk about it? Do you think they felt guilty?
I believe many Germans could not allow themselves to believe all that went on and for some time hoped it would not last. - peg
Are there contemporary situations equivalent to the Holocaust?
The situation in Syria is pretty bad, although not on as large a scale. The Khmer Rouge basically commited genocide in Cambodia in the 70s and some of the fighting in Africa has amounted to genocide. All in all, some humans don't seem to be ... - mariannes
Discuss the differences between the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany, and the treatment of blacks in the South
Many similarities existed. Power, belief of superiority over the blacks and the super German race..all grounded in hatred self promotion and evil! - peg
Do you think almost dying makes a person more aware and grateful for the little things?
I think it helps people realize what is important in their lives. - susanr
Do you think Christine saw the Americans as saviors or monsters?
Interesting question. We, as Americans, would like to think we are the good guys. What a shift to realize we have the potential to do the wrong thing. In this book Americans are pictured as both good and bad but mostly good (or is that simply my ... - jacquelynh
"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 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
"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
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Ellen Marie Wiseman discovered her love of reading and writing while attending first grade in one of the last one-room schoolhouses in New York State. Her debut novel The Plum Tree - a WWII story about a young German woman trying to save the love of her life, a Jewish man - will be released by Kensington in January 2013. Ellen lives peacefully on the shores of Lake Ontario with her husband and three dogs, where she loves to cook, watch movies, garden, and spend time with her granddaughters. She would love to have you join her on Facebook, Twitter, and on her web site: www.ellenmariewiseman.com
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