September 21, 2020 – The Great War is over, but the Spanish Influenza continues to deliver the butcher’s bill. Everywhere, children are dying. But in Philadelphia, they’re also disappearing — and they all have one thing in common: They’re immigrants. We dive into a riveting novel set 100 years ago that’s eerily familiar today with acclaimed novelist Ellen Marie Wiseman.
She brings us The Orphan Collector, a Target Book Club Pick and an Editor’s Choice in Historical Novel Society magazine. Her 13-year-old heroine, Pia, and her mother care for twins, Ollie and Max, even as prejudice and the Purple Death beset them on all sides. Like so many German immigrants, her patriotism was immediately suspect, and her father — feeling the need to prove his loyalty — did so by enlisting to fight the Kaiser.
With Armistice Day, they dare to hope for a return to normalcy. But when Pia leaves quarantine at home in a desperate search for food, she can’t imagine that she’ll return to find her brothers have evaporated into thin air.
Ellen Marie Wiseman’s previous novels include best-sellers The Life She Was Given: A Moving and Emotional Saga of Family and Resilient Women, and, What She Left Behind: A Haunting and Heartbreaking Story of 1920s Historical Fiction — which sold over half a million copies — and The Plum Tree: An Emotional and Heartbreaking Novel of WW2 Germany and the Holocaust.