The Baker's Secret

The Baker's Secret

by Stephen P. Kiernan

Hardcover

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Overview

A tale beautifully, wisely, and masterfully told.” — Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun

From the multiple-award-winning, critically acclaimed author of The Hummingbird and The Curiosity comes a dazzling novel of World War II—a shimmering tale of courage, determination, optimism, and the resilience of the human spirit, set in a small Normandy village on the eve of D-Day.

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country.

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

In the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers.

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594871453
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/02/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 37,621
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Stephen P. Kiernan has won numerous awards, including the Brechner Center’s Freedom of Information Award, the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment, and the George Polk Award. He is the author of two previous novels, The Curiosity and The Hummingbird, and two nonfiction books. He lives in Vermont with his two sons.

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The Baker's Secret 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book started out good and you got to know Emma. The emotion was pretty strong through out the book for despair and you really felt hopeless. I think the author could had wrote another short chapter to explain what happened to everyone in the end. Through out the book I found myself asking questions hoping the author would resolve them and was disappointed to find out that it ended the way it did. If I could give it 2.5 stars I would because for me the ending is a huge part I want to see how things were resolved not left wondering.
onemused More than 1 year ago
"The Baker's Secret" is a fictional account that follows a baker in Normandy during the German occupation of WWII. Emmanuelle (Emma) was a baker's assistant until he was removed for being Jewish. As the town suffers, they find small ways to rebel, including Emma's use of the flour they give her to make bread for the soldiers, substituting some ground straw in the mix to make extra bread for the townspeople. While it was a fairly fast-moving plot, it did not particularly stand out for me amongst other WWII books, and I didn't connect with it the way I have others, maybe because it seemed very fictional, or maybe because we don't get to know the other townspeople as deeply as Emma so the scene didn't really come to life for me. That being said, the writing is overall good and the last part of the book is even stronger with heavy imagery and much deeper thought-provoking text about real events. Overall, it was interesting but not one of the top fiction books about WWII that I have read. Please note that I received a copy through a goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.
csmmom More than 1 year ago
I have an interest in reading books that take place during World War II and I always have. This is the story about a woman who is the town baker and she has been seen as the only person who can help the people in her town by secretly getting the things they needs in order to survive. She has a caring personality but is also depicted as a strong woman who shows little fear. I really enjoyed reading this as much as you can reading about this horrendous event in history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Exquisite writing. Gripping WWII story about living under the occupation of the Nazis in a small French village. The characters are fully fleshed out and so real I felt I was among them. The afterward brought me up to date and was totally satisfying. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story. Hard to imagine the strength and bravery of this woman. A fast read. Good imagery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read wish could give 3.5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. I would recommend it.
dspinlexo More than 1 year ago
A wonderful historical read. A baker in a small village in Normandy in WWII before D-Day is stretching the supply of flour to feed the Nazis, and to have a few extra loafs for the local people. A very creative baker putting her life on the line to feed the locals as well as meet the demands of the Nazi leaders under close scrutiny. This is a great insight into the local life of WWII. Emma is a very strong woman, a true leader and provider. Great character development. Beautifully written. I am looking forward to more from this author.