Friday, January 20, 2012

(6)The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy

The Baker's Daughter

Publication Date: January 24, 2012
Pages: 304

It has been nearly seventy years since the end of World War II.  Many movies have been made and many books have been written about the atrocities that took place during the War, yet I still find myself horrified while reading novels such as The Baker's Daughter.

The Baker's Daughter takes place in two different eras in two different worlds.  Elsie Schmidt is a young and naive seventeen year old girl in 1945 Germany.  She has been invited to attend a Christmas celebration with an officer or Hitler's army, a young man who has been courting Elsie for some time. She thinks nothing of this gentleman, but is eager for her first taste of champagne.  Sheltered herself, from the atrocities of the war, Elsie gets her first real taste of what the war really means when she finds herself rescuing the young Jewish boy who sang at dinner from being forced to return to the Camps.  Her act of kindness that night changes the course of her life in ways that she never thought possible.

Flash forward sixty years to Texas and you will find Elsie and her daughter Jane running a bakery using the same recipes that Elsie's family used in their bakery all of those years ago.  A young reporter enters their bakery looking to interview Elsie for a piece she is doing on cultural Christmas traditions.  But as Elsie tells her story to Reba, Reba learns far more about love and loss than she ever thought possible.  Will Elsie's tale help Reba decide which way to go with her own relationship?

The Baker's Daughter has the potential of being one of  the most talked about book at book clubs all over the country.  But I will warn you that Reba's story line is not nearly as compelling as Elsie's.  There were even times where I wondered if the author was trying to make a comparison between Hitler's Gestapo and the present day Border Patrol, but I talked myself out of that theory.  It is just not a comparison that I am comfortable with, so I will say it was just me reading way too much into the story.  Bottom line, I think this is a  book that you must not miss out on reading.


Sam (Tiny Library) said...

I just read this too (the review is on my blog) and really enjoyed it, especially Elsie's story. I did notice some parallels between Riki's work and the Gestapo but I didn't make too much of it, especially as I'm not American so don't know too much about border control.

Great review!

Charlotte's Web of Books said...

Oh good - I am glad someone else noticed the parallels. I was afraid I was reading to much into the story. Off to read your review!

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