The Life She Was Given

The Life She Was Given
Author: Ellen Marie Wiseman
Publsiher: Kensington Books
Total Pages: 369
Release: 2017-07-25
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781617734502

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A GREAT GROUP READS Selection of the Women’s National Book Association and National Reading Group Month 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.” —ForeWord Reviews “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.” —BookPage

The Life She Was Given

The Life She Was Given
Author: Ellen Marie Wiseman
Publsiher: Kensington Publishing Corp
Total Pages: 0
Release: 2025-01-21
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781496749864

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Before We Were Yours meets Water for Elephants in New York Times bestselling author Ellen Marie Wiseman’s vivid, daring, emotional novel about the devastating power of family secrets—beginning in the poignant, lurid world of a Depression-era traveling circus and coming full circle in the transformative 1950s. 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 inherits her parents’ estate. For Julia, home was an unhappy place full of rules and forbidden rooms. 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. Thanks to elephants Pepper and JoJo, and their handler, Cole, Lilly is no longer a spectacle but the circus’s biggest attraction . . . until tragedy and cruelty collide. It will fall to Julia to uncover Lilly’s fate and her family’s shocking betrayal, and somehow make Blackwood Manor 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 is tender, heart wrenching, and hopeful.

The Plum Tree

The Plum Tree
Author: Ellen Marie Wiseman
Publsiher: Kensington Books
Total Pages: 400
Release: 2013-01-01
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780758278449

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"A touching story of heroism and loss, a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of love to transcend the most unthinkable circumstances." —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris From the internationally bestselling author of The Orphan Collector comes a 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

What She Left Behind

What She Left Behind
Author: Ellen Marie Wiseman
Publsiher: Kensington Books
Total Pages: 336
Release: 2013-12-31
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780758278463

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Half a million copies sold! 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.” —SpaWeek “A great coming-of-age story.” —School Library Journal

Home Is Not a Country

Home Is Not a Country
Author: Safia Elhillo
Publsiher: Make Me a World
Total Pages: 225
Release: 2022-02-22
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
ISBN: 9780593177082

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LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD “Nothing short of magic.” —Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X From the acclaimed poet featured on Forbes Africa’s “30 Under 30” list, this powerful novel-in-verse captures one girl, caught between cultures, on an unexpected journey to face the ephemeral girl she might have been. Woven through with moments of lyrical beauty, this is a tender meditation on family, belonging, and home. my mother meant to name me for her favorite flower its sweetness garlands made for pretty girls i imagine her yasmeen bright & alive & i ache to have been born her instead Nima wishes she were someone else. She doesn’t feel understood by her mother, who grew up in a different land. She doesn’t feel accepted in her suburban town; yet somehow, she isn't different enough to belong elsewhere. Her best friend, Haitham, is the only person with whom she can truly be herself. Until she can't, and suddenly her only refuge is gone. As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen—the name her parents meant to give her at birth—Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might be more real than Nima knows. And the life Nima wishes were someone else's. . . is one she will need to fight for with a fierceness she never knew she possessed.

Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You
Author: Celeste Ng
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 306
Release: 2014-06-26
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781101634615

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The acclaimed debut novel by the author of Little Fires Everywhere and Our Missing Hearts “A taut tale of ever deepening and quickening suspense.” —O, the Oprah Magazine “Explosive . . . Both a propulsive mystery and a profound examination of a mixed-race family.” —Entertainment Weekly “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

The Orphan Collector

The Orphan Collector
Author: Ellen Marie Wiseman
Publsiher: Kensington Books
Total Pages: 401
Release: 2020-08-04
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781496715876

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Instant New York Times Bestseller 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.” —Booklist “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.” —Kirkus Review “An emotional roller coaster…I felt Pia’s strength, courage, guilt, and grief come through the pages clear as day.” —The Seattle Book Review

My Secret Guide to Paris

My Secret Guide to Paris
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Publsiher: Scholastic Inc.
Total Pages: 161
Release: 2015-02-24
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
ISBN: 9780545709644

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From the author of the Charmed Life and It’s Raining Cupcakes series comes a novel of family, friends, and a French adventure you’ll never forget! Nora loves everything about Paris, from the Eiffel Tower to chocolat chaud. Of course, she’s never actually been there—she’s only visited through her Grandma Sylvia’s stories. And just when they’ve finally planned a trip together, Grandma Sylvia is suddenly gone, taking Nora’s dreams with her. Nora is crushed. She misses her grandmother terribly, but she still wants to see the city they both loved. So when Nora finds letters and a Paris treasure map among her Grandma Sylvia’s things, she dares to dream again . . . She’s not sure what her grandma wants her to find, but Nora knows there are wonderful surprises waiting for her in Paris. And maybe, amongst the croissants and macarons, she’ll even find a way to heal her broken heart. “This love letter to the City of Light will have readers believing that everything’s better in Paris. Schroeder lets the city’s romance shine in a thoughtful story, laced with mystery and French vocabulary, about losing family and gaining individuality in a place where curiosity can bloom.” —Publishers Weekly “A light and frothy Parisian adventure with hints of emotional heft.” —School Library Journal “Nora’s hopeful, openhearted character is beautifully depicted.” —Kirkus Reviews