Ten years ago, Izzy Stone's mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother's apparent insanity, Izzy, now 17, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy's help in cataloguing 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.
"Bloom where you're planted," is the advice Christine Bolz receives from her beloved Oma. But 17-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....
"A good story, terrible narration!"
As a child, Emma Malloy left isolated Coal River, Pennsylvania, vowing never to return. Now, orphaned and penniless at 19, 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.
Zehn Jahre ist es her, dass eine schicksalhafte Nacht für Izzy Stone alles veränderte: Ihre Mutter erschoss ihren Vater während er schlief. Seitdem lebt die nun 17-Jährige bei Pflegefamilien. Als sie für ein Museum Gegenstände ehemaliger Insassen der alten und berüchtigten psychiatrischen Anstalt Willard State Asylum katalogisiert, stößt sie auf einen Stapel ungeöffneter Briefe und das alte Tagebuch einer gewissen Clara Cartwright.