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About Ellen Marie Wiseman
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 New York Times bestselling author whose novels have been translated into twenty 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. Bookbub named THE PLUM TREE 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. 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 Goodreads Best Book of the Month. THE ORPHAN COLLECTOR was an instant New York Times Bestseller. Ellen lives on the shores of Lake Ontario with her husband and a spoiled Shih-tzu named Izzy. When she’s not busy writing, she loves spending time with her children and grandchildren. Find Ellen on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/EllenMarieWisemanAuthor
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From the internationally bestselling author of What She Left Behind comes a gripping and powerful tale of upheaval—a heartbreaking saga of resilience and hope perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams and Kristin Hannah—set in Philadelphia during the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak—the deadly pandemic that went on to infect one-third of the world’s population…
“Readers will not be able to help making comparisons to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how little has changed since 1918. Wiseman has written a touching tale of loss, survival, and perseverance with some light fantastical elements. Highly recommended.”
“An immersive historical tale with chilling twists and turns. Beautifully told and richly imagined.”
—Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America’s First Daughter
In the fall of 1918, thirteen-year-old German immigrant Pia Lange longs to be far from Philadelphia’s overcrowded slums and the anti-immigrant sentiment that compelled her father to enlist in the U.S. Army. But as her city celebrates the end of war, an even more urgent threat arrives: the Spanish flu. Funeral crepe and quarantine signs appear on doors as victims drop dead in the streets and desperate survivors wear white masks to ward off illness. When food runs out in the cramped tenement she calls home, Pia must venture alone into the quarantined city in search of supplies, leaving her baby brothers behind.
Bernice Groves has become lost in grief and bitterness since her baby died from the Spanish flu. Watching Pia leave her brothers alone, Bernice makes a shocking, life-altering decision. It becomes her sinister mission to tear families apart when they’re at their most vulnerable, planning to transform the city’s orphans and immigrant children into what she feels are “true Americans.”
Waking in a makeshift hospital days after collapsing in the street, Pia is frantic to return home. Instead, she is taken to St. Vincent’s Orphan Asylum – the first step in a long and arduous journey. As Bernice plots to keep the truth hidden at any cost in the months and years that follow, Pia must confront her own shame and fear, risking everything to see justice – and love – triumph at last. Powerful, harrowing, and ultimately exultant, The Orphan Collector is a story of love, resilience, and the lengths we will go to protect those who need us most.
“Wiseman’s writing is superb, and her descriptions of life during the Spanish Flu epidemic are chilling. Well-researched and impossible to put down, this is an emotional tug-of-war played out brilliantly on the pages and in readers’ hearts.”
—The Historical Novels Review, EDITOR’S CHOICE
“Wiseman’s depiction of the horrifying spread of the Spanish flu is eerily reminiscent of the present day and resonates with realistic depictions of suffering, particularly among the poorer immigrant population.”
—Publishers Weekly (Boxed Review)
“Reading the novel in the time of COVID-19 adds an even greater resonance, and horror, to the description of the fatal spread of that 1918 flu.
A GOODREADS Best of the Month Selection
“A powerful, poignant novel.”
—In Touch, Grade A
From the internationally bestselling author of The Orphan Collector comes a beautifully written and moving tale of family secrets and the importance of a mother’s love—and how it can shape a life—even in the most shocking ways. A painful saga of strength and reinvention perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Lisa Wingate—set in two different times, as two young women come of age and uncover the mysteries of their families, and find their own ways in the world…
On a summer evening in 1931, Lilly Blackwood glimpses circus lights from the grimy window of her attic bedroom. Lilly isn’t allowed to explore the meadows around Blackwood Manor. She’s never even ventured beyond her narrow room. Momma insists it’s for Lilly’s own protection, that people would be afraid if they saw her. But on this unforgettable night, Lilly is taken outside for the first time—and sold to the circus sideshow.
More than two decades later, nineteen-year-old Julia Blackwood has inherited her parents’ estate and horse farm. For Julia, home was an unhappy place full of strict rules and forbidden rooms, and she hopes that returning might erase those painful memories. Instead, she becomes immersed in a mystery involving a hidden attic room and photos of circus scenes featuring a striking young girl.
At first, The Barlow Brothers’ Circus is just another prison for Lilly. But in this rag-tag, sometimes brutal world, Lilly discovers strength, friendship, and a rare affinity for animals. Soon, thanks to elephants Pepper and JoJo and their handler, Cole, Lilly is no longer a sideshow spectacle but the circus’s biggest attraction...until tragedy and cruelty collide. It will fall to Julia to learn the truth about Lilly’s fate and her family’s shocking betrayal, and find a way to make Blackwood Manor into a place of healing at last.
Moving between Julia and Lilly’s stories, Ellen Marie Wiseman portrays two extraordinary, very different women in a novel that, while tender and heartbreaking, offers moments of joy and indomitable hope.
“Perfect for book clubs and readers who admired Sara Gruen’s Like Water for Elephants.”
—Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
“A vibrant maze of desires.”
“Seamlessly blends mystery and history with compelling and well-researched details.”
—The Historical Novels Review
“Vividly drawn and complex…Fans of Karen White and Sara Gruen will be drawn in by the drama and mystery of Wiseman’s novel.”
The breakout novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan Collector, What She Left Behind weaves together riveting stories of past and present, exploring the strength of women in two different times as they face adversity in two very different ways. Go inside the horrifying walls of a 1920s New York asylum as a wrongly imprisoned woman fights for what is most important to her—and meet the young woman confronting the pain and mystery of her own family’s mental illness two generations later.
Ten years ago, Izzy Stone’s mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother’s apparent insanity, Izzy, now seventeen, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy’s help in cataloging items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past.
Young flapper and suffragette Clara Cartwright is caught between her overbearing parents and her desire to be a modern woman. Furious when she rejects an arranged marriage, instead finding love with an Italian Immigrant, Clara’s father sends her to a genteel home for nervous invalids. But when his fortune is lost in the stock market crash of 1929, he can no longer afford her care—and Clara is committed to the public asylum.
Even as Izzy deals with the challenges of yet another new beginning, Clara’s story keeps drawing her into the past. If Clara was never really mentally ill, could something else explain her own mother’s violent act? Piecing together Clara’s fate compels Izzy to re-examine her own choices—with shocking and unexpected results.
“Screams with authenticity, depth, and understanding.”
—The New York Journal of Books
“A real page turner…will appeal to all readers of fiction.”
—The Historical Novels Review
“Amazing…A great read!”
—The San Francisco Book Review
“Will both haunt and inspire you… a moving, and at times chilling story that totally endears you to her characters.”
“A great coming-of-age story.”
—School Library Journal
As a child, Emma Malloy left isolated Coal River, Pennsylvania, vowing never to return. Now, orphaned and penniless at nineteen, she accepts a train ticket from her aunt and uncle and travels back to the rough-hewn community. Treated like a servant by her relatives, Emma works for free in the company store. There, miners and their impoverished families must pay inflated prices for food, clothing, and tools, while those who owe money are turned away to starve.
Most heartrending of all are the breaker boys Emma sees around the village—young children who toil all day sorting coal amid treacherous machinery. Their soot-stained faces remind Emma of the little brother she lost long ago, and she begins leaving stolen food on families’ doorsteps, and marking the miners’ bills as paid.
Though Emma’s actions draw ire from the mine owner and police captain, they lead to an alliance with a charismatic miner who offers to help her expose the truth. And as the lines blur between what is legal and what is just, Emma must risk everything to follow her conscience.
“Wiseman offers heartbreaking and historically accurate depictions . . . [a] powerful story.”
“Heartrending and strongly drawn historical details.”
“Intense and heartbreaking at times, but full of hope. The author’s impeccable research into this era makes for a spot-on portrayal of a dark time in American history…’unputdownable’.”
—The Historical Novels Review, Editor’s Choice
“Things get really, really fast and furious. This book opened my eyes to the coal mines. I loved it. Would be a great book club selection.”
—Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver, CO)
—Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris
From the internationally bestselling author of The Orphan Collector comesa haunting and lyrical tale of love and humanity in a time of unthinkable horror. The debut novel from a powerful voice in historical fiction, this resonant and courageous saga of a young German woman during World War II and the Holocaust is a must-read for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Alice Network.
“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.
"A haunting and beautiful debut novel."
—Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August
"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 Keeping Lucy
Sage Winters always knew her sister was a little different even though they were identical twins. They loved the same things and shared a deep understanding, but Rosemary—awake to every emotion, easily moved to joy or tears—seemed to need more protection from the world.
Six years after Rosemary’s death from pneumonia, Sage, now sixteen, still misses her deeply. Their mother perished in a car crash, and Sage’s stepfather, Alan, resents being burdened by a responsibility he never wanted. Yet despite living as near strangers in their Staten Island apartment, Sage is stunned to discover that Alan has kept a shocking secret: Rosemary didn’t die. She was committed to Willowbrook State School and has lingered there until just a few days ago, when she went missing.
Sage knows little about Willowbrook. It’s always been a place shrouded by rumor and mystery. A place local parents threaten to send misbehaving kids. With no idea what to expect, Sage secretly sets out for Willowbrook, determined to find Rosemary. What she learns, once she steps through its doors and is mistakenly believed to be her sister, will change her life in ways she never could imagined . . .
Ellen Marie Wiseman, acclaimed author of What She Left Behind and The Life She Was Given, weaves the stories of two very different women into a page-turning novel as suspenseful as it is poignant, set amid one of history’s deadliest pandemics.
In the fall of 1918, thirteen-year-old German immigrant Pia Lange longs to be far from Philadelphia’s overcrowded streets and slums, and from the anti-German sentiment that compelled her father to enlist in the U.S. Army, hoping to prove his loyalty. But an even more urgent threat has arrived. Spanish influenza is spreading through the city. Soon, dead and dying are everywhere. With no food at home, Pia must venture out in search of supplies, leaving her infant twin brothers alone . . .
Since her baby died days ago, Bernice Groves has been lost in grief and bitterness. If doctors hadn’t been so busy tending to hordes of immigrants, perhaps they could have saved her son. When Bernice sees Pia leaving her tenement across the way, she is buoyed by a shocking, life-altering decision that leads her on a sinister mission: to transform the city’s orphans and immigrant children into what she feels are “true Americans.”
As Pia navigates the city’s somber neighborhoods, she cannot know that her brothers won’t be home when she returns. And it will be a long and arduous journey to learn what happened—even as Bernice plots to keep the truth hidden at any cost. Only with persistence, and the courage to face her own shame and fear, will Pia put the pieces together and find the strength to risk everything to see justice at last.
Otoño de 1918. Pía Lange es una niña de trece años, hija de inmigrantes alemanes, que vive en las abarrotadas calles de la Filadelfia marginal, donde el sentimiento antialemán es tal que su padre se ve obligado a alistarse en el ejército para demostrar así su lealtad. Sin embargo, el frente en la Primera Guerra Mundial no es el único problema: ha llegado una amenaza aún mayor, la gripe española, una pandemia que se extiende rápidamente por la ciudad causando la muerte por doquier. Sola con sus dos hermanos gemelos, se ve obligada a recorrer las calles en busca de comida y dejarlos solos. Un día, al regresar a casa, sucede lo que menos se espera: sus hermanos no están. ¿Conseguirá Pía recuperar a sus hermanos y descubrir quién se esconde tras su desaparición?
Pennsylvania, 1912: Die junge Emma ist nach dem Tod ihrer Eltern gezwungen, zu ihrer verhassten Verwandtschaft in Coal River zurückzukehren. Sie ist entsetzt, als sie sieht, unter welchen Bedingungen die Arbeiter der Kohlekompanie arbeiten müssen. Vor allem das Leid der kleinen Jungen, die schwere Arbeiten verrichten müssen und oft verletzt oder getötet werden, geht ihr zu Herzen. Sie beginnt, heimlich Lebensmittel zu stehlen und zu verteilen. Dabei trifft sie immer wieder auf Clayton, einen der Minenarbeiter. Sie kommen sich näher und beschließen, gemeinsam etwas gegen die Zustände in der Mine zu unternehmen …
El futuro que ambos sueñan compartir tropezará con obstáculos más insalvables que su origen social. Bajo el régimen de Hitler, en Alemania se aprueban nuevas leyes que prohíben a Christine volver a su trabajo y tener cualquier relación con Isaac. Pero ella se enfrentará a la ira de la Gestapo y los horrores de Dachau en su afán por estar con el hombre a quien ama, por sobrevivir al horror y, finalmente, preservar la verdad.
Una novela inolvidable sobre el valor y la decisión, sobre las atrocidades y el sufrimiento de la guerra y el empeño en no renunciar a la esperanza.
"El jardín de Dachau es una conmovedora historia de heroísmo y pérdida; un testimonio de la fuerza del espíritu humano y el poder que posee el amor para superar las circunstancias más inconcebibles. Su hábil narración y sus intensos personajes lo convierten en una lectura francamente memorable".
Pam Jenoff, autora de The Ambassador Daughter
"Esta novela es en ocasiones dolorosa, pero también es una grata historia de amor ambientada en una de las épocas más difíciles de la historia humana".
T. Greenwood, autor/a de Two Rivers
Leyenda de primera de cubierta:
Una conmovedora historia de resistencia humana y amor imperecedero durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial.
Ai primi posti delle classifiche americane
Autrice del bestseller La stagione dei ricordi perduti
Una sera dell’estate del 1931 Lilly Blackwood intravede le luci abbaglianti del circo dalla finestra spiovente della sua camera da letto. Non ha il permesso di esplorare i dintorni della casa. Non è neanche mai uscita dalla sua stanza all’ultimo piano. Sua madre sostiene che sia per il suo bene e che le persone si spaventerebbero se la vedessero. Ma quella notte calda e stellata è destinata a cambiare ogni cosa: Lilly esce dalla sua prigione e si dirige verso il tendone del circo. Più di vent’anni dopo, la diciannovenne Julia Blackwood ha ereditato dai genitori la tenuta di famiglia e la casa adiacente. Per Julia, quello è un luogo di ricordi infelici, pieno di regole ferree e stanze proibite. Tornare lì dopo tanto tempo potrebbe aiutarla a liberarsi dai fantasmi del passato? Scavare a fondo tra i segreti di casa Blackwood porterà Julia a scoprire verità scabrose e tradimenti di cui si è macchiata la famiglia, perché la sua storia è intrecciata a quella di Lilly, in fuga per trovare la sua strada nel mondo duro, a volte brutale del Circo dei fratelli Barlow.
Un’autrice da 1 milione di copie
Tradotta in 12 Paesi
La vita di due donne è legata a casa Blackwood e ai suoi oscuri segreti
«La vita di un’artista circense e di una ragazza scappata di casa confluiscono magistralmente.»
«Due storie che si intrecciano gradualmente. Un romanzo ben costruito che affascina il lettore.»
«L’autrice si immerge nelle vite delle giovani donne con delicatezza e una grande abilità nel dosare le emozioni.»
New York Journal of Books
Ellen Marie Wiseman
È nata e cresciuta in un piccolo paesino nello Stato di New York. Attualmente vive sulle rive del lago Ontario con il marito. Ha scritto il suo romanzo d’esordio, La stagione dei ricordi perduti, pubblicato in Italia dalla Newton Compton, ispirandosi alle storie dei nonni e dei genitori, emigrati negli Stati Uniti dopo aver conosciuto gli orrori della seconda guerra mondiale e dello sterminio. Le donne di casa Blackwood è già un successo internazionale.
La storia vera di un amore che è sopravvissuto all'Olocausto
Un romanzo ispirato a una storia vera
La storia che una donna doveva raccontare
Un esordio indimenticabile che vi rimarrà nel cuore
A diciassette anni Christine vive spensierata in un piccolo paese della Germania del Sud
Trascorre le sue giornate tra il duro lavoro come domestica nella casa dei Bauerman, una ricca famiglia ebrea, e lunghe escursioni nei boschi. Ed è proprio durante una di queste passeggiate che lei e Isaac, il figlio dei Bauerman, scoprono di essere legati da un sentimento intenso e profondo. Ma la Germania sta per conoscere gli orrori del nazismo, l’ascesa di Hitler spazza via e sconvolge ogni progetto e speranza. Le leggi razziali impediscono a Christine di continuare a lavorare e frequentare Isaac, il quale però non può fare a meno di sfidare le autorità e le convenzioni per incontrarla di nascosto. Finché Isaac e la sua famiglia non vengono deportati in quello che ben presto si rivelerà un campo di sterminio. Nei mesi e negli anni che seguono la ragazza affronterà privazioni di ogni tipo, l’angoscia dei bombardamenti e della lotta per la sopravvivenza, le persecuzioni della Gestapo e gli orrori di Dachau, in un viaggio coraggioso e disperato alla ricerca dell’uomo che ama.
Sullo sfondo della seconda guerra mondiale, un romanzo indimenticabile, una storia di coraggio che fa brillare la scintilla della speranza
Una struggente storia d'amore sbocciata tra gli orrori dell'Olocausto
«Ellen Marie Wiseman rifugge le descrizioni dei conflitti militari tipici dei romanzi sull’Olocausto, per donare un’intima e convincente intensità emotiva a questo avvincente debutto letterario.»
«Un romanzo che non potrà mancare sugli scaffali di chi ha amato La chiave di Sara di Tatiana de Rosnay e La notte di Elie Wiesel.»
New York Journal of Books
«La stagione dei ricordi perduti è un romanzo d’esordio splendidamente scritto. Negli anni Trenta non tutti i cittadini tedeschi non ebrei furono nazisti, tutt’altro. Ellen Marie Wiseman intesse una storia emozionante di paura e amore da una prospettiva insolita per un romanzo sull’Olocausto, quella di una giovane donna che si trova a fronteggiare le privazioni della guerra e il crescente clima di terrore instaurato dal nazismo.»
Jewish Book World
Ellen Marie Wiseman
è nata e cresciuta in un piccolo paesino nello Stato di New York. La stagione dei ricordi perduti, il suo romanzo d’esordio, si ispira alle storie dei suoi nonni e dei suoi genitori, emigrati negli Stati Uniti dopo aver conosciuto gli orrori della seconda guerra mondiale e dello sterminio. Attualmente vive sulle rive del lago Ontario con il marito.