Title: The Baker's Daughter
Publish Date: Aug 2012
Review Copy Provided By:TLC Book Tours & the publisher
Book Blurb: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 in the dead of night 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. Reba is 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 fiancé, Riki Chavez. Riki, an agent with the U.S. Border Patrol, finds comfort in strict rules and regulations, whereas Reba feels that lines are often 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. Reba finds herself returning to the bakery again and again, anxious to find the heart of the story. For Elsie, Reba’s questions are 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
Review: There are some books that you read that you absolutely have to savor every last word of them. This is one of those books. It is told in the past and present of its two female heroines as well as the boyfriend of Reba.
The historical part of the story is Elsie and that by far is the main reason to read this book It takes place in Germany as the war is drawing to a close. Unlike most books, this one features characters that are German that aren't trying to escape. Elsie's sister Hazel is part of the Lebensborn program. Where German girls that have that blonde blue-eyed look procreated with SS officers.
This is something the textbooks don't teach you. Elsie and Hazel were just good German girls doing what Hitler wanted them to do, in order to build his Master Race. I truly found Hazel's story disturbing and sad, especially when one of her twins is born "imperfect."
Then there's Elsie who hides a little Jewish child in her bedroom to keep him from being killed by the Gestapo. I think there's a lot about WWII that we try to forget. Sarah McCoy reminds us of a few of them in this story. It is hard to fathom how one man could brainwash a nation the way Hitler did. This book shows you how the people lived and feared The Reich while trying to go about their lives.
The twists and turns of this story will more than keep you interested no matter which part you enjoy the most, the current story between Reba, Riki and Elsie and Jane or the historical part with Elsie and her family in Germany.
The book is beautifully written and is a definite must read! I was in tears at the end. This was one of the most beautiful and moving books I've read this year.
Rating: 5 flowers