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The Cherry Harvest

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  2,080 ratings  ·  356 reviews
A memorable coming-of-age story and love story, laced with suspense, which explores a hidden side of the home front during World War II, when German POWs were put to work in a Wisconsin farm community . . . with dark and unexpected consequences.

The war has taken a toll on the Christiansen family. With food rationed and money scarce, Charlotte struggles to keep her family w
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by William Morrow
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Lucy Sanna Thanks for the question, Antoinette.
Yes, WWII POWs were housed in camps across Wisconsin. The Army didn't want to alarm civilians, so they asked the m…more
Thanks for the question, Antoinette.
Yes, WWII POWs were housed in camps across Wisconsin. The Army didn't want to alarm civilians, so they asked the media to keep the facts under wraps, and the media complied. Thus, the news has been suppressed. POWs were called on to replace the men who were off at war, including the migrant workers who joined the war or found better paying jobs at the shipyards.
Regarding the actual cherry orchard on Lake Michigan and characters in the novel, they are totally fictional. Orchards did exist in that area, and at least one of them was right there on the lakeshore, but the story ... well we don't know whether or not it happened because no one ever told.
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Average rating 3.40  · 
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Raven Haired Girl
Completely divided on this book for a number of reasons.

I liked the fact Charlotte was the adulterer, although I never liked her at all. Thomas was a solid character, I wish more was revealed and developed, he kept my attention when I wanted to close the cover and call it a day.

Charlotte didn't gain any points in my book, didn't like her or warm to her. She came across as cold, aloof, I felt a disconnect with her throughout the story. I never understood the attraction or draw between her and K
I won a copy from GoodReads First Reads.

So who knew there were Nazi POWs in Wisconsin during the Second World War? If I learned that anywhere, I had forgotten. And Northern Lights! The atmosphere and sense of place were what I enjoyed about this pretty little book, especially with the locale being a Door County farm community.

It's cherry picking time but all the workers are off to war. The previous year that meant no harvest and no income. So Charlotte and Thomas, the farmers, suggest bringing
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rarely do I have the delicious opportunity and luxury to read almost non-stop as I did with Lucy Sanna's novel "The Cherry Harvest." It's the best way to read and allowed me to follow her memorable and conflicted characters without missing a beat, through a well-told and crafted story.

While war raged in Europe, on the Christiansen's Wisconsin cherry farm, without workers, Charlotte and Thomas worry that they will lose their harvest. Emotions are high, ripe for the sort of conflict that arises wh
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
Original review can be found at

I received an advanced readers copy from William Morrow via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

I love historical fiction particularly when the story takes place during either of the World Wars. This book takes on an angle that I have not read about before which says quite a bit because I have read more war stories than I can count. It takes place on American soil where German war prisoners were used to hel
”One day this will be over. But until then, we do what we must.”

A slow-burn but compulsively readable tale of love, family, loyalty, war, and the secrets we keep.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has received many varied stars which I am puzzled about as I found this a powerful and compelling story about a family during World War II. I loved the setting, the characters and the fact that I was unable to do anything else until I had finished the book! Charlotte is a cherry farmer’s wife, Thomas her husband, Kate the daughter at home helping where she can but aiming for University and Ben the son off at war and to keep everything going the local farmers bring in Nazi POW’s to get ...more
Jun 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read this book IF:
You are 14-18 years old
You have not read very many novels
You enjoy grade-B Lifetime movies.

The serious reader will have this one figured out from the beginning. It should be classified under "Romance" not general fiction. Plodding story line and tedious characters.
Maggie Boyd
Jul 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Every book has good and bad, so I'll start with speaking of the good. The author does a fantastic job of capturing, in the first chapter of the book, the basic makeup of her characters. She will add shades as the tale goes on but the basic elements of who they are is incredibly encapsulated in the opening pages.

Charlotte is butchering a rabbit at the start of the story. We know it is her daughter's rabbit, we know she had options. But she is determined to put a full meal on the table and that r
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While visiting Door County, Wisconsin, I went into a small bookstore on Washington Island. I was looking for something about the island; the store owner suggested that I read THE CHERRY HARVEST instead. She recommended it for its complexity and good writing. I am glad I listened to her. This is a novel that has stayed with me for several weeks.

The book is set in Door County during WWII when German POWs arrive to work the cherry harvest in place of the migrants who have gone to war. The presence
Lisa - (Aussie Girl)
Set in World War Two Wisconsin The Cherry Harvest gives the reader an insight into the difficulties of countries at war and not only at the front. The food shortages, the sending of a country's youth to a foreign conflict, the disruption to the work force and what it does to the psyche of the people, well described through the characters of conflicted Charlotte, stoic Thomas and youthful Kate. Though after following these characters through the upheaval of war unfortunately the surprising ending ...more
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was actually pretty boring! If she was trying to capture how mundane life on a Wisconsin farm was during the second world war, she definitely nailed it!
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful story about a family during World War II. Charlotte is a farmer's wife, living on a cheery orchard with her husband Thomas. Their daughter is anxious to leave and go to university, while Ben, their son, is fighting g in Italy. The orchard needs workers since most have signed up for the war effort. Bringing Nazi POWs to help local farms is at the bottom of this well written, engrossing story. ...more
Apr 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably actually 3.5 stars. The thing is, I really enjoyed 3/4 of the book and was for sure set to give it 4 stars. However, it all seemed to spiral out of control in the last 1/4 and I absolutely hated the ending.

I've been to Door County, Wisconsin, so for me, one of the highlights was reading about an area of the country I'v'e visited--it really is beautiful there. I kind of wonder if the lighthouse in the book is one of the ones I've been to?
Feb 02, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a dumb plot progression. Only thing of value I found was learning about POW camps in the US during WW2. Please don't waste your time with this one. ...more
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erin by: Lydia
Wisconsin: 1944. The United States is at war with Germany and Japan, and Charlotte and Thomas Christensen like many other American farmers are trying to bring in their harvests. With the young men overseas and migrants choosing wartime jobs; farmers are left wondering what they will do. When Charlotte manages to convince everyone to enlist the help of the German POWs lodged in a nearby Army camp, it's a decision that will have tremendous consequences.

One of our main protagonists is Charlotte, e
Andrea Guy
I have read a lot of books that I gave 5 flowers/flowers too this year, but very few reached the wonderfulness that was The Cherry Harvest. If the cover doesn't pull you in, the story will.

The story revolves Charlotte and her daughter Kate and how their lives are changed when German POWs come to help with the harvesting.

From the start of the story, the reader can tell that Charlotte and Kate aren't a lovey dovey mother daughter pair. Though I can understand Charlotte's motive's at the beginning
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Door County, Wisconsin the war has taken its toll on the farming community. With all of the young men gone to fight and migrant workers finding better paying jobs, many of the farmers have missed their harvest. When the opportunity arises for German Prisoners of War to work on the farms, Charlotte Christiansen does not hesitate to take up the offer for her family’s cherry farm. When the prisoners arrive, however, she begins to have second thoughts: will her daughter Kate be safe? What about a ...more
Amanda Mae
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best two things about this book were the location, beautiful Door County in Wisconsin and the history lesson. I was not aware that German POWs of WWII were put to work in the cherry orchards to save the harvest. Other than the above I felt absolutely no connection to the characters and their sad situations. Charlotte, the wife and mother, was annoying as hell and Thomas, the husband, didn't have a clue. He was invisible to me. And Kate, the daughter, just a silly little girl caught up in lov ...more
Not at all recommended. The only reason i finished it was we were reading it for a book club. Turned out no one enjoyed it. My biggest complaint was the lack of historical detail and the fact it could have taken place about anywhere, so sparse were her descriptors. The whole love at first sight? I have too many other books to read. I wish i could have quit this at 50 pgs. It was just immature at times. Sorry.
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This book had so much potential but just didn't do it for me. There wasn't enough of the war prisoners and too much of the main characters' shallow lives. I felt like the book couldn't decide if it was YA or romance or thriller. It should have stuck with one genre and went into more depth. And the ending? Ridiculous. ...more
Shari Larsen
This coming-of-age story is set in small farming community in Wisconsin. The war has taken a toll on the Christiansen family. With food rationed, and money scarce, Charlotte struggles to keep her family fed, often bartering for what she needs. Her teenage daughter Kate raises money to earn money for college. Charlotte's husband, Thomas, struggles to keep the cherry orchard going while their son Ben, is off fighting in Europe, and has to deal with a labor shortage also.

When their upcoming cherry
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This could have--should have been so good. With the rich culture, history, geography, and traditions of Door County, the last years of World War II, and the famous cherry growing industry all part of the setting, this should have been literary gold. Instead we get all of this richness used as thin and barely there set dressing for a B movie/soap opera story with a predictable plot worthy mostly of a badly executed teen drama. A few mentions of Allied victories...a song on the radio by Bing Crosb ...more
Rural Wisconsin: 1944. Town meeting. German POWs will be arriving in camps set up by the Army. Charlotte Christiansen suggests that the farmers in her county petition the Army for workers and these prisoners be set to work on the farmers' land to harvest their cherry and apple orchards. This novel sets out the effect these POWs have on the lives of the Christiansen family. Also, with the return of their son, Ben, badly injured in the war and full of bitterness and hatred, we see war's devastatin ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What to even say on this one.

The actual prose were well written and the author does a fantastic job of building the world this story is set in. You can really get engulfed in the setting and see exactly what the characters see. That is what really kept me in this novel. The actual narrative on the other hand is a mess. There are several competing story lines that just don't mesh. And the relationships that build in this story are absolutely ridiculous, improbable, and their progressions are insa
Mar 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
It was interesting to me and something I didn't know, that there were POW camps in Wisconsin during WWII, including Door County, my home. And really that was the only interesting thing about this novel. Too many sex details, violent/gory details and not enough 'getting to know the character' details. There was so much potential with a story like this, but I'm afraid it fell flat. I was disappointed. ...more
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this novel written by a graduate of St Norbert College, in anticipation of the author's visit to my classroom. Excellent characterization and vivid details make this historical fiction a good, fast read. ...more
Oct 24, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I just can't read any more of this amateurish drivel. ...more
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd really like to give this book 3 1/2 stars but that's not possible. After just coming off a Jane Austen novel, I find it hard to give it a true 4 stars since it is really not a literary masterpiece but it is truly and enjoyable read. I felt connected to all of the main characters, the secondary characters not as much. There are a few scenes that happen rather abruptly... I like things to be believable and a few spots were under developed and thus unbelievable. All in all if you just want a go ...more
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-novel
This book gets high marks for the complexity it presents, which is, after all, the nature of all true stories. It is a novel, but based on quite a bit of historical truths, some of which the author kindly points out for us in an afterword. (I love it when they do that.) It tells the story of the effect of WWII mobilization on farmers in the Great Lakes region, mainly a shortage of labor for the harvest. There are lots of subplots involving various characters' desires and frustrations, that twist ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Jun 24, 2015 11:00AM  

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