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The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman
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The Plum Tree (edition 2012)

by Ellen Marie Wiseman

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2661942,770 (3.85)3
Member:FHC
Title:The Plum Tree
Authors:Ellen Marie Wiseman
Info:Kensington House Pub Ltd (2012), Edition: 1, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This is one of those stories that touches ones soul. Everything in this story was vivid and tangible. The prose gives one Goosebumps and has every character come to life while the author has us relive a dark time in history of Germany and the world.


“The air was as crisp and sweet as the crimson apples hanging in the orchards that lined the gentle foothills of the Kocher River valley. The sun was shining in a blue September sky quilted with tall, cottony clouds that swept rolling shadows over the countryside.”

What is touching through out the story, is how the author paints the picture that is so real, so true.


“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.”

*** *** ***

“It came from the direction of the woods, unmistakable, uninterrupted, and unending. She fell to her knees, stomach twisting, thinking she’d go crazy before it stopped. She pressed her hands over her ears, but the sound of gunfire found its way through her trembling hands, ripping into her brain.”

If you’re looking for a historical fiction set in WWII, a story that shows what one goes through to survive, to love and to hope, you’ve found it in ‘The Plum Tree’.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
( )
  bookworm2bookworm | Mar 30, 2017 |
Seventeen-year-old Christine Bolz works as a servant for the Bauerman family where Christine and the Bauerman’s son, Isaac, have just revealed their love for one another. But, it's 1938 and soon Christine and her mother are banned from working for the Jewish family. They continue to meet secretly but it quickly becomes too dangerous for both of them. As the years pass and Christine’s family struggle to survive the hunger and cold that accompany the war, she has no idea what has befallen the Bauermans. Are the still in Germany , hiding, or captured by the Nazis? Everything is out of control and soon Christine is faced with life and death decisions on a daily basis. Christine knows she will always love Isaac, but now she has no choice but to get on with her life, helping her mother and grandparents take care of her brothers and sisters. Much later, she has the opportunity to help Isaac and she'll risk everything, her own life as well as the lives of her family, to help the man she loves. What I really liked about this story was that the author was able to paint a portrait of an ordinary non-Nazi German family during the war. The didn't approve of Hitler but faced imprisonment or even death if they weren't careful. We were able to see the hopelessness of their lives. I enjoyed the book but felt that I didn't learn anything new about this period of time. It also had a bit of a YA feel to it, probably due to love story angle. " ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jun 16, 2016 |
Perhaps I have read too many books about WWII and the Holocaust and reading this one for my book club was more of a chore than a pleasure. The story was Ok. Young, working-class, Christian, Christine falls in love with wealthy, Jewish, Isaac. Before their romance can really develop the Nazi's gain power and Isaac is "relocated'.
I appreciated that the book presented the effect of the war on good, Christian Germans who had no issue with Jews or desires for power. Nevertheless they suffered the hardships and dangers of war-torn Germany.
I would only recommend it if the reader has not yet read far superior novels e.g. "All the light we Cannot See" and "The Nighengale' ( )
  AstridG | May 24, 2016 |
I was interested when I first saw this book because I have read quite a bit of WWII historical fiction in the last few years. My interest increased dramatically when I found that the author lives in the same county as I do and went to school with a friend and was going to speak early in March at our library, so I put it at the top of the list and picked it up at the library. The point of view is that of normal German citizens, Christians who regard their Jewish neighbors as just that, neighbors, and the agenda of the Nazi regime increasingly suspect. The premise of forbidden love between a Jew and Christian is familiar, and I wasn't surprised to learn that the author was also a fan of [b:Those Who Save Us|49465|Those Who Save Us|Jenna Blum|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328874946s/49465.jpg|3402913]. The early parts of the book had a YA feel, and that sense of I'd read this before. As time went on though, I was increasingly drawn into the story and got to the point where I really couldn't stop today, unfortunately for my laundry. At the end, I was little confused at the timeline, but I was glad I read it. I have to comment on the publisher, Kensington, as I was really happy with the conversation with the author at the end, and her own comments on how the book came together. My rating is really more like a 3.75 than a full 4, but I went on the high side after learning that the author doesn't have a college degree or even classes in creative writing, and based the work on stories from her mother and grandparents. I find that impressive. She did do additional research as well. I also have to respect how much a new author has to believe in herself and her work to survive the rejections and keep going back until the magical moment of acceptance arrives. Kudos to Mrs. Wiseman. ( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
It is 1938 in a small German town and eventeen-year-old Christine Bolz has fallen head over heels in love with Isaac Bauerman. Christine and her mother work as domestic help for the well-to-do Bauerman family and, surprisingly, neither family is concerned with the infatuation the two teens have for one another. Isaac is a college student hoping to follow in his lawyer father's footsteps and he and Christine spend hours contemplating a rosy future for the two of them. Their lives would soon change as Hitler gained more and more support for his Nazi party and before long the Bauermans and all of the Jewish families were forced from their homes for 'relocation'. It was not long before Christine saw just how cruel the treatment of the Jewish prisoners had become as she watched emaciated men march through her town where they were forced to build an airstrip and armory. When Christine spied Isaac among the group she was able to cause enough diversion to separate him from the crowd and bring him home with her where she hid him in the attic. Of course the SS officers realized they had an escaped prisoner and he was found fairly quickly in the Bolz home. Christine admitted to helping Isaac and soon she found herself, along with Isaac, on her way to Dachau. Her struggle for survival amidst unthinkable cruelty kept the thought of Isaac and home foremost in her mind.

Although this was a well written story it was extremely slow moving until about the last third of the book. I did like Christine quite a bit but I thought that some of her actions were foolishly self-centered. She had a mother and father, younger sister and 2 younger brothers who knew nothing of Isaac's concealment in the attic. I understand that she loved the young man but she endangered her entire family for him. The descriptions of her life at Dachau were horribly graphic but more than likely much less graphic than what really happened. Excrutiatingly heartbreaking. I found the ending to be a bit hard to believe but the book itself was good.
( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0758278438, Paperback)

"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 WW2 fiction aficionados--and any reader who loves a transporting story."--Jenna Blum, NYT bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and one of Oprah's Top 30 Women Writers

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 homefront, this is an unforgettable novel of courage and resolve, of the inhumanity of war, and the heartbreak and hope left in its wake.

Advance Praise For Ellen Marie Wiseman's
The Plum Tree

"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

"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
 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:37 -0400)

In the fall of 1938, as Germany rapidly changes under Hitler's regime, 17-year-old Christine Bolz, a domestic forbidden to return to the wealthy Jewish family she works for - and to her employer's son Isaac, confronts the Gestapo's wrath and the horrors of Dachau to survive and to be with the man she loves.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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