Author: Sarah McCoy
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publish Date: January 24, 2012
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a historical fiction fan.
- You're interested in the WWII era.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: " In 1945, Elsie Schmidt was a naïve teenager, as eager for her first sip of champagne as she was for her first kiss. But in the waning days of the Nazi empire, with food scarce and fears of sedition mounting, even the private yearnings of teenage girls were subject to suspicion and suppression. Elsie’s courtship by Josef Hub, a rising star in the Army of the Third Reich, has insulated her and her family from the terror and desperation overtaking her country. So when an escaped Jewish boy arrives on Elsie’s doorstep in the dead of night on Christmas Eve, Elsie understands that opening the door puts all she loves in danger.
Sixty years later, in El Paso, Texas, Reba Adams is trying to file a feel-good Christmas piece for the local magazine. Reba is a rolling stone, perpetually on the run from memories of a turbulent childhood, but she’s been in El Paso long enough to get a full-time job and a full-time fiancé, Riki Chavez. Riki, an agent with the U.S. Border Patrol, finds comfort in strict rules and regulations, whereas Reba knows that in every good story, lines will be blurred.
Reba's latest assignment has brought her to the shop of an elderly baker across town. The interview should take a few hours at most, but the owner of Elsie's German Bakery is no easy subject. Elsie keeps turning the tables on Reba, and Reba finds herself returning to the bakery again and again, anxious to find the heart of the story. For Elsie, Reba's questions have been a stinging reminder of darker times: her life in Germany during that last bleak year of WWII. And as Elsie, Reba, and Riki's lives become more intertwined, all are forced to confront the uncomfortable truths of the past and seek out the courage to forgive."
My Two Cents:
I was enchanted by this book's cover and its blurb and could hardly wait to get my hands on it. I was so excited when I finally got to pick up the book from the library!
The story is another one of those that tells a story from the past and a story from the present. I liked both stories but I think I liked the story that takes place in WWII in Germany a little bit better. I really, really enjoy reading historical fictions that take place during WWII. I think it's a really interesting time period to read about (fiction or non-fiction). This book introduced me to a program that I had never heard of before. It was called the Lebensborn program. Part charity for unwed mothers, part breeding house for Aryan children, it is utterly creepy. I had never heard of the program before so this book was definitely eye-opening from that perspective.
In The Baker's Daughter, it was interesting to see how everyday Germans were touched by what was going on in their country with regard to politics even if they didn't really believe in what the Nazis were doing. The Schmidt family really seems to be in self-preservation mode during the part of the book that takes place in WWII. They all seem to be hiding something, Elsie especially.
Bottom line: this is a solid historical fiction that will move you!