Ellen Marie Wiseman’s stunning debut, The Plum Tree, is an evocative tale of a young German woman in love with a wealthy Jewish man. The story spans from pre- to post-WWII, detailing the horrors of war on all fronts. The tale is in turns beautiful and heartbreaking and is a thoughtful portrayal of German life in Nazi Germany. The Plum Tree is a gripping, powerful story that lingers in the mind of the reader long after the last page is turned.
“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.