A World Full of Strangers: A Saga of Love & Retribution

Open Road Media
2
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A multigenerational saga of an immigrant Jewish family in America—from Hester Street to San Francisco—by a New York Times–bestselling author.
 
Katie Kovitz is seventeen years old when her mother dies. Leaving London for New York Harbor during the bitter winter of 1932, the anxious and uncertain young girl relies on the kindness of strangers for refuge. Welcomed into the home of her Polish mother’s closest childhood friend, Katie is embraced by her new family in a country warm with hope and opportunity. There, on Hester Street in the Jewish ghetto of the city’s Lower East Side, Katie finally establishes the roots that will come to define her.
 
In New York, Katie also finds her future in three people who will change her life in ways she never anticipated: David, the man she marries, a ruthless achiever willing to abandon his heritage to secure power and prosperity under a new name; Mark, their resolute and devout son, and the embodiment of everything his father hates and rejects; and Maggie, a San Francisco beauty who helps to mold David into the man he’s always wanted to be, whatever the cost. As dreams and desires collide, and as Katie strives to reclaim her own lost identity, a series of events will forever affect the ambitions, promises, and legacies of an American family.
 
From the prewar ghettos of Manhattan to the glittering hills of postwar San Francisco, author Cynthia Freeman follows the destinies of three generations of a resilient family, their intimate struggles, and personal triumphs, and brings to vivid life the soul and spirit of the extraordinary Jewish immigrant experience in America.
 
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About the author

Cynthia Freeman (1915–1988) was the author of multiple bestselling novels, including Come Pour the Wine, No Time for Tears, and The Last Princess. Her novels sold more than twenty million copies worldwide. Born in New York City’s Lower East Side, she moved as a young child with her family to Northern California, where she grew up. She fell in love with and married her grandmother’s physician. After raising a family and becoming a successful interior decorator, a chronic illness forced her to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. At the age of fifty-five, she began her literary career with the publication of A World Full of Strangers. Her love of San Francisco and her Jewish heritage drove her to write novels with the universal themes of survival, love, hate, self-discovery, joy, and pain, conveying the author’s steadfast belief in the ability of the human spirit to triumph over life’s sorrows.
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Reviews

3.5
2 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Aug 27, 2013
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Pages
631
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ISBN
9781480435759
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Jewish
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Ellen Marie Wiseman
A deeply moving and masterfully written story of human resilience and enduring love, The Plum Tree follows a young German woman through the chaos of World War II and its aftermath.

"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.

Advance Praise For Ellen Marie Wiseman's
The Plum Tree

"The Plum Tree is 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. Deft storytelling and rich characters make this a highly memorable read and a worthy addition to the narratives of the Holocaust and Second World War." --Pam Jenoff, author of The Ambassador's Daughter

"A haunting and beautiful debut novel." --Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August

"In The Plum Tree, 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 Two Rivers


"An unusual point of view on the Holocaust. [The Plum Tree] is a story of star-crossed lovers in a time of genocide. . .The details are exquisite and very thorough. Young adult readers will find it refreshing to read a different perspective toward WWII Germany. The terrors of the war will ignite compassion and disbelief." – VOYA Magazine
Lauren Belfer
National Jewish Book Award Winner!

The New York Times-bestselling author of A Fierce Radiance and City of Light returns with a new powerful and passionate novel—inspired by historical events—about two women, one European and one American, and the mysterious choral masterpiece by Johann Sebastian Bach that changes both their lives.

In the ruins of Germany in 1945, at the end of World War II, American soldier Henry Sachs takes a souvenir, an old music manuscript, from a seemingly deserted mansion and mistakenly kills the girl who tries to stop him.

In America in 2010, Henry’s niece, Susanna Kessler, struggles to rebuild her life after she experiences a devastating act of violence on the streets of New York City. When Henry dies soon after, she uncovers the long-hidden music manuscript. She becomes determined to discover what it is and to return it to its rightful owner, a journey that will challenge her preconceptions about herself and her family’s history—and also offer her an opportunity to finally make peace with the past.

In Berlin, Germany, in 1783, amid the city’s glittering salons where aristocrats and commoners, Christians and Jews, mingle freely despite simmering anti-Semitism, Sara Itzig Levy, a renowned musician, conceals the manuscript of an anti-Jewish cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, an unsettling gift to her from Bach’s son, her teacher. This work and its disturbing message will haunt Sara and her family for generations to come.

Interweaving the stories of Susanna and Sara, and their families, And After the Fire traverses over two hundred years of history, from the eighteenth century through the Holocaust and into today, seamlessly melding past and present, real and imagined. Lauren Belfer’s deeply researched, evocative, and compelling narrative resonates with emotion and immediacy.

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