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The Baker's Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan
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The Baker's Secret

by Stephen P. Kiernan

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A story of love, heartbreak, life and death. Emma is a baker in France, where she is forced to use most of her rations to bake bread for the occupying soldiers. That doesn't mean she can't find a way to make extra loaves to help feed her starving neighbors. She is a cunning and stealthy survivor, using many skills to network and find items to swap among her people all the while trying to stay alive. ( )
  MichelleConnell | Sep 26, 2018 |
It’s difficult to write a compelling novel about WW2 when the market is highly saturated, but this one managed to do so. Most I have read are female authored, so this was different,plus I’m always interested in seeing a male write a female lead
  bookczuk | Aug 1, 2018 |
This was a quick read, and it held my attention well enough. I thought it was interesting seeing how Emma set up her network, but despite her good deeds, I often found it difficult to like her due to her bitterness and pessimism. Also, her reaction to holding a baby was extreme and disturbing. Happily, she did seem to grow by the end, and it was interesting to see D-Day from a civilian point of view. ( )
  ang709 | Jun 12, 2018 |
Fascinating viewpoint of life in Normandy, France before and during the infamous battle of WW2 as seen through the eyes of village baker Emma.
Their lives were turned inside out and upside down with the arrival of the despicable, and violent invading army of Germans. Normalcy goes right out the window and in steps deception, murder and starvation. Up steps the bread baker Emma ,who creates a lifeline for them all.
Heartbreaking, knowing that stories like this existed in real life. Uplifting in knowing the fortitude of the multitudes.. ( )
  linda.marsheells | May 27, 2018 |
heart breaking story of the human sufferings during the second world war, brilliant story of the resillience of the people upon whom the sufferings were inflicted. The story shows how war and its impact do not differentiate between anyone, the belligerent or the unasuming people of the village (who unknowingly became part of a greater plan), war affects all.
The Baker's Secret is a pacy, excellent and heartfelt read that is highly recommended for anyone interested in historical fiction. ( )
  Harris_Niazi | May 24, 2018 |
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Epigraph
It takes twenty years to bring man from his vegetable state inside the womb...to the stage where he begins to grow into maturity . It took thirty centuries to learn something about his structure. It would take an eternity to learn something about his soul. It only takes an instant to kill him. - Voltaire, 1764
Men are not made for war. But neither are they made for slavery.- Jean Guehenno , 1942
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To Ellen Levine and Jennifer Brehl in gratitude
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All through those years of war, the bread tasted of humiliation.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006236958X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 20 Dec 2016 09:36:08 -0500)

After her kind mentor is arrested because of his Jewish heritage, a young baker's apprentice in Normandy engages in discreet resistance activities, baking contraband loaves of bread for the hungry using surplus ingredients taken from occupying forces.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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