In this powerful novel of survival and resilience, New York Times bestselling author Ellen Marie Wiseman takes readers on a gripping, emotional journey as one brave young woman’s search for the truth about her sister leads her to an infamous institution called Willowbrook . . . Sage Winters always knew her sister was a little different even though they were identical twins. They loved the same things and shared a deep understanding, but Rosemary—awake to every emotion, easily moved to joy or tears—seemed to need more protection from the world. Six years after Rosemary’s death from pneumonia, Sage, now sixteen, still misses her deeply. Their mother perished in a car crash, and Sage’s stepfather, Alan, resents being burdened by a responsibility he never wanted. Yet despite living as near strangers in their Staten Island apartment, Sage is stunned to discover that Alan has kept a shocking secret: Rosemary didn’t die. She was committed to Willowbrook State School and has lingered there until just a few days ago, when she went missing. Sage knows little about Willowbrook. It’s always been a place shrouded by rumor and mystery. A place local parents threaten to send misbehaving kids. With no idea what to expect, Sage secretly sets out for Willowbrook, determined to find Rosemary. What she learns, once she steps through its doors and is mistakenly believed to be her sister, will change her life in ways she never could imagined . . .
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
Instant New York Times BestsellerFrom 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
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WITH MORE THAN A MILLION COPIES SOLD—Sold on a Monday is the unforgettable book-club phenomenon, inspired by a stunning piece of Depression-era history. "A masterpiece that poignantly echoes universal themes of loss and redemption...both heartfelt and heartbreaking."—Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan's Tale2 CHILDREN FOR SALE. The sign is a last resort. It sits on a farmhouse porch in 1931, but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices.For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family's dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined.Inspired by an actual newspaper photograph that stunned the nation, Sold on a Monday has celebrated five months on the New York Times bestsellers list and continues to especially captivate fans of Lisa Wingate's Before We Were Yours and Kristin Hannah's The Four Winds.Look for the new novel by Kristina McMorris, The Ways We Hide, a sweeping World War II tale of an illusionist whose recruitment by British intelligence sets her on a perilous, heartrending path, available September 2022.
In November 1912, popular and pretty eighteen-year-old Ella Barham was raped, murdered, and dismembered in broad daylight near her home in rural Boone County, Arkansas. The brutal crime sent shockwaves through the Ozarks and made national news. Authorities swiftly charged a neighbor, Odus Davidson, with the crime. Locals were determined that he be convicted, and threats of mob violence ran so high that he had to be jailed in another county to ensure his safety. But was there enough evidence to prove his guilt? If so, had he acted alone? What was his motive? This examination of the murder of Ella Barham and the trial of her alleged killer opens a window into the meaning of community and due process during a time when politicians and judges sought to professionalize justice, moving from local hangings to state-run executions. Davidson’s appeal has been cited as a precedent in numerous court cases and his brief was reviewed by the lawyers in Georgia who prepared Leo Frank’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1915. Author Nita Gould is a descendant of the Barhams of Boone County and Ella Barham’s cousin. Her tenacious pursuit to create an authoritative account of the community, the crime, and the subsequent legal battle spanned nearly fifteen years. Gould weaves local history and short biographies into her narrative and also draws on the official case files, hundreds of newspaper accounts, and personal Barham family documents. Remembering Ella reveals the truth behind an event that has been a staple of local folklore for more than a century and still intrigues people from around the country.