The Baker's Daughter

The Baker's Daughter

4.3 112
by Sarah McCoy
     
 

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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

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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:
9780307460189
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
01/24/2012
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.72(h) x 1.06(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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The Baker's Daughter: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 112 reviews.
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
AlbertG More than 1 year ago
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.
E_M_13423 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very good and is a fast read.
AddyND More than 1 year ago
GREAT BOOK...I loved every page. Very educational even if it is fictional. I'm going to check out other books by Sarah McCoy.
jlking More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A different view of World War 2 Germany. With an equally interesting story line in 2007 Texas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Author tries to weave too many lives and times into one book making it a clumsy and bumpy read. Very disappointing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting read just wish it didnt flip back and forth so much between the eras
TrixieKP 6 months ago
An excellent read! The author really gave life to these characters - so much so that I cheered and cried equally for them.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Solid historical fiction. However, I enjoyed the historical narrative much better than the current onr
KathyS33 8 months ago
The best book that I have read in a very long time. Loved every page.
jj999 9 months ago
A well written book with a lot of poignancy and self-realization on the part of the characters. However, I felt like I was slogging through too many life stories at the same time. I put the book down numerous times thinking that I would just move on to something else. Ultimately, I did finish it and the ending is much better than the murky middle of the book.
judyx3 9 months ago
There are books I like and there are books I love. Love this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Post.
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audsdau50 More than 1 year ago
This story is well written and captures the era of WWII. Characters are well developed and the plot is fascinating. I loved this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No mystery, no torrid love scenes, just a book that is well written, informative, and has you wishing there was more. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the lives of this family, from the 1940 through the 21st century.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WWII has interested me a great deal...since I was quite young when it was over. I never understood how Germany could have gotten into such a mess letting Hitler tell them all what to do and what to think. The Baker's Daughter delivers a story of a German family living in that time. The character development is good....the final story is good. Worth reading.
pattyb41 More than 1 year ago
If you are interested in this time period this is deffinitly a must read. Seeing life as it might have been through the eyes of a young couragous german girl during a very difficult time. Held my attention from start to finish. Ms. McCoy has a way with words, will be reading more of her work.