The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

THE PLUM TREE By Ellen Marie Wiseman

Publisher:  Kensington
Release Date: 2012
Pages: 387
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle
My Rating: 5+ Stars⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the Book:  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 Bölz 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.

Wanda's Thoughts: 
This was not an easy read, and certainly not for the faint of heart, but an incredible story about the Holocaust, that was just heart wrenching. WWII and the Holocaust was a horrible time in our history that brought great sadness to the Jewish people. But this is the story of survival, and the misery of six years, told from a German girl’s perspective.

Details of WWII are woven together with a romance between a seventeen–year-old German girl, Christine, and a German Jew, Isaac, who were from two different worlds. Isaac was the son of a wealthy lawyer, and Christine was the daughter of a poor mason. As a result of their forbidden love, they found themselves in a boxcar, headed to Dachau, crushed like kindling, filling every square inch of space. It was dark and stifling hot, the stench unbearable – a harrowing and devastating experience.

From the book – “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.”

“They’re murdering thousands of people. Along with Jews, they’re killing Gypsies, the crippled, the feeble minded, the elderly. They’re gassing them and burning the corpses in giant ovens. Unless prisoners can be of some use, and then they’ll work them until they die.”

The writing and plot are solid, the in-depth storyline intriguing, and the characters are captivating. I can’t imagine anything more horrific than WWII and the Holocaust. This is a story you’ll not soon forget. I highly recommend. 5+ stars.

About the Author:  Ellen Marie Wiseman's debut novel, The Plum Tree, was released by Kensington Publishing on December 25th, 2012. Set in Nazi Germany, The Plum Tree is an epic story of human resilience and enduring hope that follows a young German woman through WWII as she struggles to survive poverty and Allied bombs, finds the courage to outwit SS officers, and risks everything trying to save the love of her life, a Jewish man. Find Ellen on Facebook at: or like The Plum Tree at: Fan Page: