The Baker's Secret

The Baker's Secret

Book - 2017
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On June 5, 1944, as a gray dawn rises over the small town of Vergers 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 he was pulled from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers taken by the Nazis. In the years during which 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, Emma has built a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers. Like a gypsy, she makes her way around the village, moving among desperate inhabitants and arrogant occupiers--a deal maker, an observer, and a keeper of secrets. But her gift to the village is much more than a few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 006236958X (hardcover)
9780062369581 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: FIC KIERNAN
Characteristics: 309 pages ; 24 cm

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Xaviluna1
Dec 30, 2017

I think the story is a bit “cheesie.” After reading The Baker’s Secret, I read The Boat Runner. Also Historical fiction, but so engaging. I finished it in one day.

g
greenacres
Aug 25, 2017

In a coastal village in Normandy in June of 1944, we meet a baker's apprentice who is forced to bake bread for the German army. Emma stretches the required 12 loaves per day to 14 by adding finely ground straw to the dough to share with the starving townsfolk. She knows that at some point her secret will be discovered. Life is brutal, neighbours belonging to the resistance are caught and shot or simply disappear. Emma believes help will never come. By novel's end, it's June 5th, 1944 and there is an appearance of Allied bombers overhead but Emma still believes there is no hope. A bit slow moving at first, but a very satisfying ending.

martins_mom Jun 05, 2017

For fans of "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" although a bit darker. The central figure, Emmanuelle, the baker, is such a strong, self-aware woman and the other characters are all carefully drawn. I loved this book.

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