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The Life She Was Given Paperback – July 25, 2017

4.3 out of 5 stars 892 ratings

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Your guide to mental fitness.
Kevin Hart breaks it all down. Listen free with trial
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Editorial Reviews

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The Life She was Given is a vibrant maze of desires. The sharp divide between expectations and painful truths, mothers and daughters, past and present, culminate in a sensational finale." - ForeWord Reviews 


"Switching back and forth in time and narration from Lilly to Julia, Wiseman (The Plum Tree) has crafted a can't-put-it-down novel of family secrets involving two young girls who only seek to be loved. VERDICT Perfect for book clubs and readers who admired Sara Gruen's Like Water for Elephants." --starred review LIBRARY JOURNAL


"Wiseman alternates between 1930s and 1950s New York State in this emotional tale of one young girl's tragedy and another's coming of age. Wiseman has created two equally enticing story lines that gradually reveal the commonalities between them. This well-crafted novel provides rewards throughout."--Publisher's Weekly

"Ellen Marie Wiseman gathers potent Gothic elements in The Life She was Given to examine the impact of child abuse across generations. A sumptuous plot balances horror and tenderness to reveal lesser-known facets of history...The Life She was Given is a vibrant maze of desires. The sharp divide between expectations and painful truths, mothers and daughters, past and present, culminate in a sensational finale." - ForeWord Reviews

"A powerful, poignant novel." - In Touch, Grade A

"A novel that, while tender and heartbreaking, offers moments of joy and indomitable hope." - Bookbub


"Ellen Marie Wiseman is noted for capturing little known pockets of American life and depicting them with heart and insight; her latest novel may be her most harrowing yet...The author's in-depth knowledge of traveling circuses and "freak shows" of the era is evident. The novel seamlessly blends mystery and history with compelling and well-researched details. The two women in the book, though separated by time, demonstrate resilience in the face of despair. Thematic elements include religious extremism; the many forms of love; and strength under adverse circumstances." - The Historical Novels Review
 

About the Author

Ellen Marie Wiseman is a bestselling author whose novels have been translated into eighteen languages. Her debut novel, THE PLUM TREE, is loosely based on her mother's stories about growing up in Germany during the chaos of WWII. Bookbub named THE PLUM TREE One of Thirteen Books To Read if You Loved ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE. Ellen's second novel, WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND, was named a Huffington Post Best Books of Summer 2015. Her third novel, COAL RIVER, was called "one of the most "unputdownable" books of 2015" by The Historical Novel Review. Her fourth novel, THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN, was named A GREAT GROUP READS Selection of the Women's National Book Association and National Reading Group Month and a Goodreads Best Book of the Month. Ellen lives on the shores of Lake Ontario with her husband and two spoiled Shih-tzus, Izzy and Bella. When she's not busy writing, she loves spending time with her children and grandchildren. Find Ellen on Facebook at: Facebook.com/EllenMarieWisemanAuthor

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Your guide to mental fitness.
Kevin Hart breaks it all down. Listen free with trial

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
892 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on August 20, 2017
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Top international reviews

Karen Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars My Book of the Year So Far!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 5, 2017
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boyd84
3.0 out of 5 stars Good to have 2 female lead characters.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 28, 2018
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J. Brazill
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written. I could not put this book down ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 11, 2017
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WalMart Greeter
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic story of a little girl sold by her mother to a carnival show
Reviewed in Canada on July 3, 2019
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heather
3.0 out of 5 stars Living in a different era
Reviewed in Canada on November 20, 2017
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Kaye Frost-Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as I expected
Reviewed in Australia on August 4, 2017
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Mary Lou Glazier
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever!
Reviewed in Canada on September 8, 2019
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Reviewed in Canada on May 4, 2018
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April
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, because you won't be able to put this ...
Reviewed in Canada on December 5, 2017
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Marie L Schlosser
5.0 out of 5 stars Very sad indeed in alt of ways but couldnt put it
Reviewed in Canada on August 26, 2017
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D. T.
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed
Reviewed in Canada on April 20, 2018
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C. Preece
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Reviewed in Canada on June 13, 2018
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JAM
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
Reviewed in Canada on March 20, 2019
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Lorraine Lewin
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed!
Reviewed in Canada on September 1, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Reviewed in Canada on August 25, 2017
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