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Publisher's Summary

"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. 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.

©2013 Ellen Marie Wiseman (P)2013 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The Holocaust was a horrendous time in world history, and Wiseman has added a personal touch on this era." (VOYA)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    85
  • 4 Stars
    110
  • 3 Stars
    58
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 3.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    63
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    54
  • 2 Stars
    37
  • 1 Stars
    43

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    108
  • 4 Stars
    89
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    6
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  • Performance
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  • Tyler
  • harrisburg, OR, United States
  • 01-30-14

A good story, terrible narration!

Where does The Plum Tree rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I appreciated the story. However the narration was incredibly distracting. I felt like I was listening to announcements being shouted over an intercom. A few of the voices sounded off as well. The story was good enough for me to push through and finish listening, but I wish I would have bought the ebook instead.

How could the performance have been better?

A different voice used for the narration would have made it much better.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful Story Ruined by the WORST Narrator!

I listened to this while wincing. The narrator does an excellent job of destroying the weight of the story. It is a good story - maybe even an excellent story - but the narration is not to be born.

I enjoy Audible Books because I can accomplish other tasks while listening... this narrator is pushing me to the bookstore to READ the book. It is as bad theatrical act.

The STORY is EXCELLENT! A good read, not listen.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Narration issues for me

I struggled with the narration of the story. I did not care for the voice and different voices used to portray certain characters. It really took away from the full experience of the book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

narration detracts greatly from experience of the story

What did you like best about The Plum Tree? What did you like least?

interesting story, quality of description, historical facts, believable characters, local color,

What did you like best about this story?

LIKED LEAST:<br/>narrator, who (among other things) seemed to think if she pronounced German words correctly, it would add to the narration. (In my opinion, pronunciation in a novel/fiction, doesn't matter that much unless it's laughably, noticeably, or grossly bad.)

How did the narrator detract from the book?

flat voice; void of emotion/ warmth; her change into other characters's voices is poor.

Was The Plum Tree worth the listening time?

There are many stories about that period in history, yet they're all unique and compelling, as is this one; therefore, yes it was.

Any additional comments?

the impact of narration makes a significant difference in the experience, one in which from now on, I'll check before I buy a book; if I had listened to just 30 seconds of this book, I'd have known it would be a problem!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Painfully Narrated Fairy Tale

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I can't recommend this book. Incredibly unrealistic outcomes and most of the characters lack depth. Do we ever really get to know what's going on in Mary's head? The people who don't survive we seem to know least about so their loss is hardly devastating.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

You can't have that many people in incredibly dangerous situations for years and then have them all live. Too much of a fairy tale ending. There were some very moving parts in the book but it was ruined by fantastical outcomes for the majority of characters.

How could the performance have been better?

She was far too loud and her character voices were absurd. She had a lot of "wicked witch" tones to her voices and many of her male voices were terrible. She had no nuance to her voice and seemed to be yelling a lot. It seemed to me that they redubbed a lot of the German words because she often didn't sound like she did throughout the rest of the book. It seems unbelievable that she tackled difficult strings of German but pronounced "vater" with a "v" instead of an "f" There were simply too many vaters for them to go back through and redub it.

Do you think The Plum Tree needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Absolutely not. I knew there was something off with this book and I didn't make the connection until I finished. About a year ago I started her other book "What She Left Behind" and had to stop because it was too unrealistic. If I had realized this was the same author I wouldn't have bought this one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Story not bad; narrator not good

What would have made The Plum Tree better?

A different narrator, one with a softer voice.

How could the performance have been better?

I felt the narrator was not reading to me, but yelling at me.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I purchased the Kindle edition of the book, so I could read it--couldn't listen to the audiobook. I haven't yet finished the Kindle book, but so far I find it not expertly crafted. I wanted to see the other side of the story, but I may not, even after finishing the book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • amber
  • LEANDER, TX, United States
  • 01-29-15

THE NARRATOR IS YELLING THE STORY

I can barely get through this story. The narration is so very bad. The German pronunciations are excruciating to listen to. The tempo is fast when it should be slow and slow when it should be fast. The intensity of voice is always at the level of YELLING. Please... record this story with a new narrator so that it is treated with the respect it deserves. NEIN Madeleine Lambert NEIN

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Only thing worse than the book was the narrator

The book was more like a fairy tale. The narrator was the worst one I'VE EVER HEARD.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Same old same old

After having listened to several WW 2 books in the past 6 months (what was I thinking? ) have hit the wall. They all sound about the same. Yes, WW2 was horrible for the Europeans. There must be a another story though. There were times I almost cried during each of these books but I do not need to buy any more of them if there is not going to be another point of view. Also, the reader had such a monotone at times. About put me to sleep while driving and working. My third complaint was the use of German words. They came fast and furious in the first half of the book, slightly less there after. Now I was born in Germany and came to the United States and naturalized at 3 y/o. I speak rudimentary German. I feel the use of German for every food the author could think of was excessive. There were times when a German word may have been appropriate, but not every time someone said no or please. Good lord there were times no one would even say no or please, but the author had to fit those words in somehow. Enough. The book wasn't bad, but it also will never make my all time list of the top 25 books either.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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Poor example of Holocaust novel.

This book is superficial with minimal character development. Quite a disappointment. Narration was at times mechanical and somewhat rigid in delivery. It was uninspired.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful