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The Plum Tree

by Ellen Marie Wiseman

The Plum Tree
  • Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Dec 2012
    304 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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There are currently 13 reader reviews for The Plum Tree
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Power Reviewer Louise J (03/18/13)

Horrifying & Appalling but a Great Read!
The Plum Tree was 367 pages of unbelievable writing that was so well-done. I read the book over two days just so I could make it last a little longer. Although sad and heartbreaking, the writing was so spot on that I didn’t want it to end. I’ll definitely be recommending The Plum Tree to everyone and keeping it as part of my permanent collection.
debbie (03/14/13)

I was there
My american soldier cousin married a german girl after WWII. I have heard her tell many stories similar to the ones in the book. The book was awesome. Note-my local library ordered the book for permanent stock.
Diane (02/04/13)

THE PLUM TREE
Amazing story one of the best I have read of World War II and the holocaust. this book is powerful and a page turner. Very strong characters especially Christine and Issac.It tells the story of a young German girl who has a Jewish friend who she loves.
The time frame of the story is Hitler's holocaust starting pre-war and onward to after the war when the prisoners that were still alive were released from the death camps. The author understands that time in history very well.

I truly enjoyed the flow of the story from beginning to end.
Power Reviewer Dorothy T. (01/27/13)

Another side of the story
Much has been told and written about the fate of the Jewish people and those who protected them in German territory during World War II. In this novel, the author shows us another side of the story, that is, how German families lived through the war years, how they coped with the disappearance of some of their neighbors, and how they felt about the activities of those in power. I'd always known that not all Germans were members of the party or supporters of its dogma, but Ms. Wiseman makes her point with strongly conceived characters and a compelling plot. Although at times she indulges in extensive flowery prose (I was sometimes tempted to hurry through it when I was eager to follow the action), she delivers a novel full of romance, suspense, and a grim reminder of what man's inhumanity can do.

This is a great read and a good one for book club discussions.
Kate (01/26/13)

Good first effort
The author has attempted to take the personal anecdotes and information she gained from relatives who lived in Germany during World War II and weave them together with the historical information regarding the Holocaust. She has described some of the most mundane tasks of daily life to show us that the ordinary German household was just like any French or English household, with the same fears, suffering and privation. These parts of the novel are not particularly engrossing. There was also something disturbing about portraying Germans as the victims of a war that was started by that Government. The questions regarding responsibility for so much suffering were not addressed. The author described the overwhelming horror of the camps where the Nazi's exterminated so many people. These sections are compelling, but the romance between her heroine Christine and Isaac does not seem significant enough against these descriptions of the Nazi's Final Solution. The personal lives of the fictional characters seemed insignificant against the actual deaths of the victims in the camps, giving the book an imbalance that I didn't like. I would like to see this author's next novel because I expect that she will do very well with the right material.
Gunta (01/22/13)

mesmerizing
Ellen Marie Wiseman knows how to tell a story.
She also has a wealth of inner feelings to draw on which makes her story very alive. Have not read anything that even comes close to describing the emotion, the smells, the despair and unbelievable suffering of the characters in this book, so very close to the history of what happened all over that part of the world, at that time. Ellen Marie Wiseman is very courageous as she is of German extraction, she is able to talk so vividly about the tragedy of the Jews, the Germans and others in terms of her individual characters and their suffering and the reasons for their suffering. The helpful American soldier depicted in this story made me smile. This book is fantastic. Am anxiously awaiting her next one.
Denise (01/19/13)

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
Jacquelyn H. (01/19/13)

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.
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