The Plum Tree

The Plum Tree 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 p

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 viA 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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The Plum Tree

  1. A first generation German American, Ellen Marie Wiseman discovered her love of reading and writing while attending first grade in one of the last one room schoolhouses in NYS She is a bestselling author whose novels have been translated into eighteen languages Her debut novel, THE PLUM TREE, is loosely based on her mother s stories about growing up in Germany during the chaos of WWII THE PLUM TREE received much praise for its depiction of WWII and was named by Bookbub as One of Thirteen Books To Read if You Loved ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE Ellen s second novel, WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND, was named a Huffington Post Best Books of Summer 2015 Her third novel, COAL RIVER, was called one of the most unputdownable books of 2015 by The Historical Novel Review Her fourth novel, THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN, was named A GREAT GROUP READS Selection of the Women s National Book Association and National Reading Group Month, and a Best of the Month for July Ellen lives on the shores of Lake Ontario with her husband and two spoiled Shih tzus, Izzy and Bella When she s not busy writing, she loves spending time with her children and grandchildren Find Ellen on Facebook at Facebook EllenMarieWisemanAuthor

593 Reply to “The Plum Tree”

  1. I had the honor to read the original version of The Plum Tree before my dear friend Ellen even had an agent When I started reading it, I could not put it down Although it takes place in war torn Germany during the reign of Hitler, the story is about the German people, their diversity, their strength , their conviction and their perseverance I believe that this book will appeal to readers of so many genres including historical and romance It is an absolutely fabulous read and especially poignant [...]

  2. This book has been for too long on my TBR, and it was one that really intrigued me Admittedly it was mostly due to the beautiful cover design The eerie, yet colorful image grabbed me and stayed plastered to my subconscious for a very long time.It is not the best novel about the Holocaust and WWII, that I have read , but it was a gripping fictional memoir, based on a true story As a memoir it was very well done The author has a good narrative style Nothing in the book is new, but what made it out [...]

  3. I had a hard time sticking with Ellen Marie Wiseman s tale of a WW II romance between a Jewish Boy and an German girl in the beginning There was almost too much description of place meeting every flower and chicken in the town, so to speak, and Wiseman kept flinging German phrases into the story then immediately translating them in an annoying way The central character, Christine, is part of a German family that was almost too morally disengaged from National Socialism to be realistic very goody [...]

  4. While the blurb say masterfully written, that is not my overall assessment The Plum Tree is about life from the other side of the coin in WW2 the life of a German girl and her family This is a point of view I have not really considered until now Christine is 17 in 1938 and in love for the first time with Isaac, who has Jewish grandparents She is heartbroken when Hitler passes one of his many decrees and Isaac and his family are ferried in the dead of night to places unknown Christine and her fam [...]

  5. Christine, I want you to understand something War makes perpetrators of some, criminals of others, and victims of everyone Not all of the soldiers on the front are fighting for Hitler and his ideals Just because a soldier is in the battle, doesn t mean that he believes in the war The Plum Tree is a story of a young girl Christine and her family during WWII and the Nazi occupation of Germany Beyond that, it is a tale of love and survival, of loss and strength, and a tale of hope It is historical [...]

  6. This is a story of the war , of the grave injustices , the horrors of the concentration camps It is a story of unmitigated hate , but it is also a love story , a story of death and survival It s a story that reminds us of the holocaust but also reminds us of the resilience of some of the survivors and that not all Germans were Nazis We ve seen real examples of how Jews were helped by notable people such as Oskar Schindler but this novel reminds us that there were others , ordinary German citizen [...]

  7. Started off as a 4 star and gradually became a 2.5 Oh, I so, so wanted to like this I d heard so much about it and recognized the home village really, a town in the first chapter as the very one in which I spent a lovely, meaningful summer The story had such promise, but too often, I wanted to throw the book across the room Reasons therefore 1 The heavy fisted Defense of the Good German I m actually quite sympathetic, but sometimes this felt like a defense in the guise of a novel Our heroine s c [...]

  8. Yes, I broke my rule and read this historical fiction about a normal and good German family during WW2.All I can say is it reminds me of a trip I took through German cities in 2002 I took many tours and was shocked to listen, over and over again, to German Guides telling an American audience with Naval Academy alumni present about how wretchedly the Allies had destroyed civilians and cities with bombing Several of us continued to walk out when this happened.So I read this story where historical [...]

  9. This is the first book I ve read by Ellen Marie Wiseman I ll read this author again Its clear Ellen Marie Wiseman has excellent STORYTELLING talent Her writing flows Its an Historical novel, historically accurate , about the Holocaust a topic I know much about from family members friends being Jewish other books on the Holocaust ongoing education with the intention to remember It might seem at first anyway that what makes this book unique is that the narrator is a young GERMAN girld the camp is [...]

  10. I did enjoy this novel although it is a haunting account of the holocaust It s a story told from the German perspective of an 18 year old girl who finds love with a Jew just before the war starts It s haunting as she loses her love only to find him later and hides him in the family attic to save him He is caught however, and both are sent to the concentration camp I find all reads that take place during Hitler s regime to be disturbing but like many survivors, it s a story about survival, family [...]

  11. Ellen Marie Wiseman has a striking ability to describe in telling details, using all the senses She doesn t just show us German villages burning after Allied bombings, she tells us the taste of the smoke and ashes The Plum Tree is also very strong on describing emotions, which is vital in a book on the emotional trauma of war There was a lot of history here that I didn t know, and I doubt many other American readers would be familiar with We have indeed been taught the history of the victor, as [...]

  12. Once in a while, I fall prey to recommendations It s usually when I m impatient and stressed and I m looking for the literary equivalent of an After School Special, something that hits the right empathic buttons without much mental strain The last time I did this I ended up with Orphan Train, which was bad but mostly hit those marks This book was so painful that I quit reading about ten pages from the end, after forcing myself to keep going long past when I should have abandoned it The writing i [...]

  13. I wish I could say I liked this , as the idea of telling a tale of a rural German family in WWII, equally as terrified of Nazis as of allied bombs, sounds an interesting one The first problem I had with it was the voice of the narrator, which seemed terribly young, mentally 12 years old, though engaged in an unlikely clandestine love affair we re supposed to care about, although we don t get to see it develop or have any reason to think there s much than mild lust going on A pebble does not tru [...]

  14. It s not their fault, Christine said to Hanna What could they have done to stop it Any of them What could they have done without getting themselves killed 3.5 stars A very difficult book to rate I struggled with the first part of the story, as the relationship between the two main characters felt a bit like instalove we only see them together three times but have to believe in Christine and Isaac s undying love The main part of the book was phenomenal shocking, heartbreaking with a lot of detail [...]

  15. Has anyone else noticed that all the 5 star reviews were written by those who are friends with the author, or at least hint at it If my friend wrote a book I, too, would write a 5 star review But this is not a 5 star book The plot is unoriginal, but does have potential I just wish that we could have seen Isaac and Christine fall in love instead of the author taking pages upon pages of describing a pasture or a village I ve seen both Don t need to described to me ad nauseum The excessive and unne [...]

  16. A moving story of Christine, a young German woman, who falls in love with a Jewish boy on the eve of the Second World War What follows is a unique and memorable tale of loyalty and the strength of the human spirit.

  17. Not sure if it was the book or narrator but I didn t enjoy the 1st half as much as the 2nd The 2nd half was unputdownable Interesting note the author s German mother and grandparents inspired some events in this novel Recommended to history and historical fiction fans.

  18. So, I had lots of trouble getting into this one It Just Drags Around page 100 I decided to give up, but then that is very difficult for me and I was j u s t b a r e l y interested enough to give it a few chapters.I can t say that it picked up at that point It really doesn t much get going until maybe 200 pages in, but I am stubborn.The problems are, sadly, many There is almost no showing and all telling That doesn t work The beginning almost feels like here are Isaac and Christine and they are [...]

  19. I loved this book although I cried my eyes out in a few places I really liked the way the author combined true stories from her family and from history and then wrote a book of fiction with a wonderful love story, horrific events, loss, sorrow, true love, enduring hope and the will to survive.The main character Christine is modeled after the author s Mother a young girl growing up in Germany during WW2 Her father gets drafted and has to go to the Russian front, Christine and her family can barel [...]

  20. I absolutely loved THE PLUM TREE, which I read as an ARC It s a story of nearly impossible love in an unjust situation, but leaves you feeling both bittersweet and hopeful Wiseman knows her setting like the back of her hand, and it shows, and the historical details are so well researched many I didn t know How the average German citizen managed during the war is rarely visited in fiction, and Wiseman s family history and personal research really enrich the story Readers of THE BOOK THIEF and THO [...]

  21. Germany, WW2 Such a sad, tragic and horrific story of how the Jews were treated How the German citizens were treated badly not knowing what the Nazi party was actually doing This book took place during the beginning through the end of WW2 The story of a German family and their life and the love a girl for a Jewish boy and his love for her A great read, especially to hear the Germans plight.

  22. This is only my second novel of 2015 and yet I already know it will be in my top 10 this year It will be a book I think about for a very long time.The first 15% or so of the book grabbed my attention immediately and drew so much emotion out of me There was a short time period after that where the author seemed to switch from showing us the story to telling it, and yet there was some passage of time, so perhaps it was necessary, but it was enough that had me thinking perhaps this potentially 5 st [...]

  23. This was a solid three stars Historical fiction is a genre I spend a lot of time in, especially WWII historical fiction I felt this story provided a few new looks at what it must have been like to live at that time There were some great twists that kept things rolling I also liked the writing for the most part It had some well worded descriptive phrases that had me saying, Nice But it became kind of exhausting after a while.I loved the time the author took in setting the stage She did a great jo [...]

  24. 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 goi [...]

  25. The other side of the storyEllen Marie Wiseman has pulled back the curtain on what it was like to live in Germany during WWII Her characters are as vivid as they are diverse Her story punctuated with horrors and fears and defiant courage I m amazed that this is Ellen s debut novel and interested to read her next Worthwhile read.

  26. Aunque tiene un ritmo pausado, ha sido una lectura interesante, entretenida, desgarradora y a la vez muy optimista Me encanta todo lo que tenga que ver con el holocausto, y este libro es un fiel retrato de lo que pasaron los alemanes que no fueron nazis Muy recomendable

  27. I received this as an e ARC On the balance, I found my enjoying this book than I didn t The author has serious talent, and her ability to place the reader in the time and place she s writing about is astounding You can almost smell the smoke, see the desolation, hear the cries and weeping The Plum Tree has some of the best atmospheric and scenic writing I ve ever read.The characters, too, are engaging I might be slightly biased the experiences of the central family seem close view spoiler minus [...]

  28. The Plum Tree opens in an idyllic German village in 1938 Seventeen year old Christine, a maid in the house of a wealthy Jewish family, is guarding a secret She and the son of her employer are in love They assume class is the greatest hurdle they will have to face 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 Bri [...]

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