The Baker's Secret

The Baker's Secret

Book - 2017
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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. But 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.
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ♭2017
ISBN: 9780062369581
006236958X
Characteristics: 309 pages

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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 with neighbours belonging to the resistance being caught and shot or simply disappearing. 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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