The Baker's Daughter

( 88 )

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In 1945, Elsie Schmidt is a naive teenager, as eager for her first sip of champagne as she is for her first kiss. She and her family have been protected from the worst of the terror and desperation overtaking her country by a high-ranking Nazi who wishes to marry her. So when an escaped Jewish boy arrives on Elsie’s doorstep on Christmas Eve, Elsie understands that opening the door ...
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The Baker's Daughter

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Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In 1945, Elsie Schmidt is a naive teenager, as eager for her first sip of champagne as she is for her first kiss. She and her family have been protected from the worst of the terror and desperation overtaking her country by a high-ranking Nazi who wishes to marry her. So when an escaped Jewish boy arrives on Elsie’s doorstep on Christmas Eve, Elsie understands that opening the door would put 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, and she sits down with the owner of Elsie's German Bakery for what she expects will be an easy interview. But Reba finds herself returning to the bakery again and again, anxious to find the heart of the story—a story that resonates with her own turbulent past. For Elsie, Reba’s questions are a stinging reminder of that last bleak year of World War II. As the two women's lives become intertwined, both are forced to confront the uncomfortable truths of the past and seek out the courage to forgive.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Replete with raw emotion and suspense, The Baker’s Daughter is a fascinating journey through a horrifying time in world history that will resonate long after you close the book.” —Historical Novel Society

“A beautiful, heart-breaking gem of a novel written just the way I like them, with the past coming back to haunt the present, endearing heroines and a sunny, hopeful ending. You'll wolf it up in one delicious gulp.” Tatiana de Rosnay, international bestselling author of Sarah's Key and A Secret Kept
 
“The Baker's Daughter was a constant warm companion to me during cross-country travels, a novel I looked forward to returning to night after night.  The rare book in which the modern-day story is as compelling as the wartime tale it contains, The Baker's Daughter offers a look at Nazi Germany through the lens of the immigration issues of our own time.  El Paso, TX and Garmisch, Germany make for an unexpected harmony of flavors.” Jenna Blum, international bestselling author of The Stormchasers and Those Who Save Us
 
“A sensitive, multilayered novel, this is a moving examination of the effect war and the politics of exclusion, have on the human heart.” Amanda Hodgkinson, New York Times bestselling author of 22 Brittania Road
 
“A haunting and beautiful story… Spanning sixty years, and taking on forms of human cruelty and indifference ranging from the Nazis to modern-day immigration reform, McCoy forces us to examine the choices we make. I was riveted from start to finish.” J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Commencement and Maine
 
“This is a beautifully told, richly detailed story that grabs your heart from page one and keeps its hold long after the last page. It is a book to discuss, to share and ultimately to savor.” Sarah Jio, author of The Violets of March
 
“Elsie Schmidt is the brave and unforgettable heroine of Sarah McCoy's beautifully written tale of family, friendship, and love. The Baker's Daughter demonstrates how the past can teach us--if only we will listen.” Kelly O'Connor McNees, author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott
 
“Sarah McCoy's The Baker's Daughter explores what happens when our loyalties (to country, cause, family, religion) clash with our intuition. A complex braiding of mystery, history, and personality, this novel is engaging and wonderful.” Sheri Reynolds, New York Times bestselling author of The Rapture of Canaan 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307460196
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/14/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 88,077
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

SARAH MCCOY is the New York Times bestselling author of the novel The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico. She has taught at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. The daughter of an Army officer, McCoy spent her childhood in Germany. She currently lives with her husband in El Paso, Texas.
 
Visit her at SarahMcCoy.com
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 88 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(51)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 88 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Elsie and Reba are from different countries and different decade

    Elsie and Reba are from different countries and different decades. But their lives come together when they need each other. Reba comes to interview Elsie about a German Christmas. The warmth of the bakery and possibly the people keep her coming back. This is the story of both women and the blessings they chose to pursue.

    Someone said this book was like Sarah's Key. It IS about Germany during the war and a little boy hidden in the wall. But that is where the similarity ends. This story takes the horrendous parts of war and blends it with the gems of beauty that live in every person. The story will draw you in and give you a glimpse into reality for Germans during the war.
    Life can be terrible. It's up to us to grasp the beauty and show it to others.
    This story tugged at my heartstrings. It made me smile, cry and be thankful for the beautiful world that I live in. It's a book I'll definitely be recommending to my friends.

    I received this book free of charge from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

    23 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    Fast read. Really enjoyed the WWII history of the book. The auth

    Fast read. Really enjoyed the WWII history of the book. The author really draws you into the parallel story lines, which causes you to not being able to put the book down. Highly Recommended!

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2012

    The Baker's Daughter is the story of Elsie Schmidt, the teenage

    The Baker's Daughter is the story of Elsie Schmidt, the teenage daughter of the local baker in a small German town during the end of World War II. The novel flashes from the present day where Elsie is living in Texas in her eighties and the time when she was a teenager. Also in this tale is the story of Reba Adams, a freelance journalist, who becomes a part of Elsie's story as she does background on a article she is writing on Christmas around the world.
    The is a dark novel in tone and depth and without much relief. But you will be drawn into it as the courage and strenght of Elsie flows through the pages until it infects even the brooding Reba and in so, will touch you as well.
    Early in the story Elsie is engaged to a German SS officer, knowing it will protect her family she agrees and in a quiet moment; she places the ring he has given her on her finger. Doing so she feels it scratch her, she takes it off and looks on the interior of the ring. There is an inscription that reads: Ani ledodi ve Dodi Li in Hebrew. She had been given the ring of a Jewish prisoner of war as her engagement ring.
    That very night a young boy comes into her life. Tobias, an escaped prisoner and Elsie must choose to protect the child and put her family and herself at risk or turn him over to the Gestapo where she knows he will be killed.
    The Baker's Daughter is the story of one woman's choice and impact it had on generations of those who would follow.
    A powerful and compelling read.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Fast read.

    This book is very good and is a fast read.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    In a time span from 1944 to the late 2000's, the story takes pla

    In a time span from 1944 to the late 2000's, the story takes place in both Garmisch, Germany, and El Paso, Texas. Reba Adams interviews Elsie and her daughter, Jane. This is a beautiful story, past and present, from Nazi Germany to modern day Texas, all that tells of heartbreak, family, friendship and grievous hardship. This will warm your heart and remain with you for quite a while!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2012

    A MUST READ

    GREAT BOOK...I loved every page. Very educational even if it is fictional. I'm going to check out other books by Sarah McCoy.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2012

    A Powerful Novel, Highly Recommend

    Sarah McCoy's THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER is a powerful story, and a delightful read. The story unfolds in two contrasting time periods, told by two very different women: young and reckless Reba, a journalist in modern-day Texas, and 1940's Elsie, navigating the complex world of WWII Germany. McCoy's writing is real. I could taste the baked goods from the bakeries in both worlds, and I felt strongly for each of the character's journeys. Highly recommended, especially as a novel to talk about with friends.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2012

    Before you go and buy this book, please read my review and save yourself some money.

    I came across this book on the Barnes & Noble website. I was looking for a good story and when I read the reviews about this book, I was thrilled, thinking how much I enjoyed "Those who save us" which also involved the Holocost and a bakery.

    I really wanted to love this book. I read all sorts of reviews about it on line and they all were so positive that I thought I'd come across a real gem.

    I have about 50 pages left to go and unless dramatic events occur in these 50 pages, I'm beyond disappointed. When I read a well-written novel, the characters come alive for me and their words practically jump off the pages. Not so with this book. It feels like the author is going on and on and on, going back and forth between a modern day El Paso and a 1940-1945 town in Germany. I like stories that do that. However, even the names of the characters... Reba, Niki, Jane, Else, Mutti...couldn't she have tossed in a name with more than four letters ... oh yeah, there's also Dee Dee. Come on give us a little variety here. Put some meat into their stories because the availability of meat is sure there. What's all this with Jane talking to the neighbor's dog and then she suddenly drinks too much wine and finds herself in bed with him. Like really ... in real life how many times do you think that's going to happen. Now back in Germany, Else, just happens to fall for her American doctor who's treating her for a miscarriage. Of course he's tall, dark, and handsome with a "strong jaw". Sappy is the only word that comes to my mind. If the author intended Reba to be a dynamic character, she didn't succeed. With 50 pages to go, I still can't picture her Reba in my mind. I keep getting Reba confused with her boyfriend, Niki, and vice versa. It just throws me off a little and then I realize who she means. I hope this little boy Else was hiding in her room comes back in the story again because otherwise the other has just set us up to care about him for nothing. We'll see. The only two things I liked in "The Baker's Daughter" are (1)the front cover of the jacket ... love the reddish hat ... and all the breads, rolls, cakes they make at the bakery make your mouth water. The end is near and I'm determined to finish it. I hope this helps somebody.

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Very interesting

    A different view of World War 2 Germany. With an equally interesting story line in 2007 Texas.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2013

    In 1945, during WWII in Garmisch, Germany, a girl named Elsie an

    In 1945, during WWII in Garmisch, Germany, a girl named Elsie and her family were trying to survive. The German natives owned a bakery and were stuggling to make do with the ingredients that they had. Elsie's parents would like her to marry a high-ranking, German officer, after all the things he has done for them. She pretended to be engaged to Josef, to protect her and her family from the dangerous situations that she has created by helping a Jewish boy. Elsie and Tobias, the Jewish boy, would become respectable friends throughout the book.
    Sixty years later, in 2007; Elsie now owns a bakery in El Paso, Texas, with her daughter. One day they had a woman come in the bakery and ask if she could interview Elsie. Elsie was not to kin on it, but she decided to go along with it. It turns out that Reba, the interviewer, would come back frequently to enjoy some freshly baked goods and to hear a new, exciting story from Elsie. Come to find out, the two of them would have a great deal in common.


    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    335 pages

    It is very hard to rate WWII holocaust books. The event is so horrific, how can the readers state the book is enjoyable, yet it was liked? I find myself in this connumdrum every time I read a book like this. This 335 page book was not what I was expecting. It was not really about the war or the holocaust, but about a German family of bakers living in Germany during the war and how they were affected by it. This is first book I have read where the point of view is told from the German's outlook, instead of the victim's. The main character is Elsie, a young girl, of sixteen at the beginning of the story. She has married, migrated to Texas and celebrates her 80th birthday by the end of the book. Elsie tells her life story to a magazine reporter and what starts out as a Christmas fluff article, spins into a much deeper and sometimes tramatic tale. The story spans the years 1942-2007. I paid $9.99 for this book. Was it worth it? I am not sure, it did not really teach me anything, nor can I say it was enjoyable, but I did like a lot of things about the book. It was well written, well researched, perfectly edited, unique in its depiction of a war family's fears and problems, had a great flow, was believable and held my interest. It also had a very adequate conclusion. In a way it was a romance. There was not any cursing, but there was sex and rape (undetailed) suicide, infantcide, child abuse, abortion, religion, violence, hunger and discussions of war camps and death of Jews. A mother really insulted her daughter by telling her she was acting like a Jewish. I never thought about this being an insult. I liked most of the characters except for the reporter. She was spoiled, unappreciative, self serving, selfish and ignored her family. This is a story for those interested in WWII history, ages 18 and up.

    AD

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Highly Recommend!

    Really enjoyable book! Great historical fiction!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Baker's Daughter is really a story within a story.  In the s

    The Baker's Daughter is really a story within a story.  In the set-up story Reba Allen, a writer for a local magazine in El Paso, Texas, is assigned to write a fluff piece about the Christmas customs of the various cultures that make up the melting pot that is El Paso.  In pursuit of this, she decides to interview Elsie Schmidt, a German immigrant and owner of Elsie's German Bakerie.  Thus the reader is introduced to the second story of the book, that of Elsie Schmidt and her family during the waning years of the Second World War.  It is the similarities and contrasts between the two stories that pulls this book together as a cohesive whole. 




    Although both stories are well told and interesting, the story of Elsie and her family was by far my favorite of the two stories.  I was captivated by both the character of Elsie and her story from the page that they were introduced all the way to their end.  I especially liked reading a story from the perspective of a typical German family during the war.  I though the author did an excellent job of using Elsie, her family, and those around them to show that there were Germans of all types during the war.  Like everyone else, they had their good and their bad,, were confused and conflicted, and missed the normalcy of their everyday lives.  It was their utter humanness that drew me into the story and kept me going.  I also loved the way that the author used the stories of Reba and her fiancee Riki to echo the themes of confused emotions and conflicted ideals that we saw in Elsie's story.  Perhaps this quote sums it up the best, "No one is good or bad by birth or nation or religion.  Inside, we are all masters and slaves, rich and poor, perfect and flawed." 




    To say that this book was beautifully written is an understatement.  Sarah McCoy is a master at telling a story with beautiful prose and wonderful emotion.  Her descriptions were so well done that I could actually smell the baking bread, taste the rolls hot from the oven, and feel the cold of the snow.  In addition, I could feel the emotions of fear, happiness, despair, and longing that she described. In addition, the inclusion of the letters from and to the characters really helped to highlight the personal aspects of the story.   This book truly encompasses the best in historical fiction, taking you into the lives and times of the characters and settings and making you feel like you are right there with them.  




    As you can tell, I loved this book.  The only thing that I saw as a drawback was the size of the font.  I know, that is a weird thing to comment on, but the font in this book was so small that I found it really hard to read unless I was in bright light.  The letters, especially, were hard to read at times.  In this case, a cursive font was used to make the letters seem more real, which is actually a plus, but again, the font was so small that it was hard to make out some of the cursive writing.  At any rate, this was the only thing that marred my otherwise perfect experience with this book, and I am probably making it sound more important than it was. 




    I have seen and looked at Sarah McCoy's other book, The Time it Snowed in Puerto Rico, but have never quite decided to read it.  After reading The Baker's Daughter, though, I am excited to read it.  I believe that Sarah is going to become one of my favorite authors in no time.  I highly recommend this book for lovers of historical fiction, especially those interested in reading about every day lives during WWII.  Many thanks to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book for making this book available to me. 

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

    Exceptional read

    Was a bit hesitant to read at first...another holocaust/ WWII book. Very different and well worth reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    William

    "You're beautifully beautiful... incredible..." he mutters softly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2014

    Elizabeth

    Her cheeks flush and her eyes widen slightly. "You really think so?..."

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  • Posted June 27, 2014

    Loved this story!

    Loved this story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2014

    very thought provoking

    I liked this book very much. I looked up a lot of information about Hitler's youth programs online. Learned a great deal I hadn't had an inkling about before. It's mind boggling to discover all the things Nazi related I never realized before. And all because I read "The Baker's Daughter". My opinion: it is a really good book. The characters were likable and the 'bad guys' were very dislikable!!! The story itself was unique. Even though it travels back and forth in time, it was not hard to follow. I especially liked the fact the whole story was told in one book. I am getting a little annoyed at finding a book I want to read only to discover it is "book 1 in the series" Not so with "The Baker's Daughter". This book was a perfect fit for me!!!

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  • Posted June 12, 2014

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It's a beautiful story of coura

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It's a beautiful story of courage, hope, and perseverance.  It offers a glimpse into what life must have been like during a horrendous time in history, and the joy that comes from loving those around us.  Our secrets keep us bound. 

    The end of the book is a wonderful celebration of life, past and present.  I didn't want to put it down.

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  • Posted June 2, 2014

    Good book

    Two women, different times, different countries but their lives are so alike. As you read, remember that what you want may not be what you really want or need. Reba and Rikki both found this out and then found each other.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 88 Customer Reviews

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