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Ellen Marie Wiseman Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Plum Tree (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
What She Left Behind (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Coal River (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Life She Was Given (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Orphan Collector (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Girls of Willowbrook (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ellen is a German American author who discovered her writing skills from her early childhood days in NYS. She is a bestselling novelist with five published books in her name. Some of her novels have been written in 17 different languages. Her first novel, The Plum Tree, focused on her mother’s stories detailing life in Germany during the turmoil of WWII. The bestselling book received positive reviews for its accurate depiction of World War II. Ellen’s subsequent books received the same tribute from notable authors including the Historical Novel Review and the Huffington Post. Ellen Marie lives near Lake Ontario with her husband and two adorable dogs, Izzy and Bella. When she is not writing, Ella spends her spare time with her children and grandkids. In this review, we shall look into some of Ella’s best literary works.

The Plum Tree

This book details a deeply moving story of a young German woman during the struggles of World War II and its repercussions. “Bloom where you’re planted,” says Oma to her beloved Christine Bolzis. However, she does not believe him. Instead, the seventeen-year-old country-bred Christine knows there is a better life in the major cities, beyond her small German community. Christine visualizes her world through the books she reads, through music and the wealthy, cultured Jewish boy Isaac Bauerman. She works for his family.

Christine fears that her dreams may as well remain in the pipeline as the challenges they face seem bleak. Stationed in two different locations, it’s hard to stay active in a highly volatile political era. Germany, 1938, the atmosphere under Hitler’s reign changes rapidly. Jews have been warned, and anti-Jewish posters hang on every street wall. Those who oppose are silenced. Christine cannot return to her Jewish employer, and neither can he continue her relationship with Isaac. Several months later Christine faces the Gestapo’s fury and the vileness of Dachau, in a desperate attempt to stay with the love of her life, Isaac, to survive—and to speak out.

Set in Germany, this is a remarkable novel of bravery and resolve, of the cruelty of war, and the hope left in its aftermath. The Plum Tree enlightens readers through a story of one woman, the unimaginable injustices of war, of despair and the horrible, barbaric experiences bravely borne by Jewish victims in concentration camps. It is a story of absolute hate, survival, and death but combined with a tale of love. Ellen describes the Holocaust and the resilience of Jews with the support of a few anti-Nazi Germans. The story sheds light on the Germans that put their lives at risk to help their Jewish associates and friends. Many ordinary German citizens placed food on the pathway for the captured Jews to pick and eat on their way to the concentration camps. Some also tried to hide Jews from the wrath of the brutal Nazis.

Ellen’s inspiration to write this heart-wrenching novel was through the tales from her grandparents during the second world war in Europe. The second world war aftermath lingers on ordinary Germans to date- men forcefully driven to enlist in the army. It did not matter whether they believed in Hitler’s philosophies at the time. Everyone had to conform to the ideals of a maniac. Killing and maiming women and children, bombing villages and causing terror.

What She Left Behind

In this edition, the acclaimed Ellen fuses the past and present in an evocative story about love and loyalty, and how far people can go to protect their loved ones. A decade ago, Izzy Stone’s mom fatally shot her husband while he slept. Shaken and shell-shocked by her mother’s audacious crime, seventeen-year-old Izzy refuses to visit her mother in prison. However, her new foster parents, both work at a nearby local museum, have registered Izzy to help out in a homeless shelter in their neighborhood. There, in the midst of heaps of neglected items, Izzy discovers a hoard of unopened letters, an old journal. All these things remind her of her past.

Eighteen-year-old Clara Cartwright, in 1929, must decide who she wants to be with, her parents, or the handsome Italian immigrant young man. Her controlling father quickly organizes for an arranged marriage between Clara and a suitable noble young man. Furious at the idea, Clara rejects the offer, and her equally livid father sends her to a home for anxious patients. As fate would have it, Clara’s dad loses a substantial amount of investments in the stock market crash. No longer to afford his daughter’s upkeep and care at the asylum, Clara is transferred to the public shelter.

As Izzy tries to cope with her new life, Clara’s story keeps pulling her into a painful past that she would rather forget. If Clara was never mentally sick, can someone help Izzy understand why her mom acted so violently that fatal night that her dad died? Solving Clara’s actions compel Izzy to look back carefully at her choices, was it worth it? Enlightening and provoking, this story sheds light on how humans yearn for a sense of pride, belonging, and the lengths we would go to, to achieve what we desire in life.

Coal River

In this exciting historical novel, Ellen reveals the story of a young woman’s resolve to end child labor in the mining fields of Pennsylvania. As a child, Emma Malloy packed her few belongings and left Coal River, Pennsylvania. She vowed never to return to the unforgiving mining lands. Now, all alone and penniless at nineteen, the orphaned young woman grudgingly accepts a train ticket from her relatives to travel back to the insidious community. Her aunt and uncle treat her like a servant upon arrival back in Pennsylvania. Emma has to work at the stores in the company. The conditions to work and live in the mines have not changed much. Low-income families living on meager earnings struggle to pay for essential commodities, some too sick to buy supplies.

Most tear jerking are the boys Emma in the village, children who toil in the sweltering heat all day long stacking coal amid dangerous machinery. Their soot-stained faces remind her of her young brother who died years ago. Emma makes a drastic decision, she provides food for the impoverished workers and cancels their debts. Her actions attract wrath from the mine owner and the local authorities. Through charm and wit, an alliance built between a charming miner who offers to help Emma expose the perils at her uncle’s mining fields.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ellen Marie Wiseman

5 Responses to “Ellen Marie Wiseman”

  1. Lois: 1 month ago

    I just love her books. I just finished orphan collectors. In my life I will read all. She is the best.

  2. GAIL: 1 month ago


  3. Eva Ballenger: 6 months ago

    I’m hooked!!! I have read them all. I can’t wait for more….

  4. Judith M Pendleton: 1 year ago

    I’ve read The Orphan Collector & What She Left Behind and ordered all the rest of what Wiseman has written. Totally absorbing characters and plots.

  5. Sharon Low: 1 year ago

    I have so enjoyed reading her books.


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