THE BAKER’S SECRET by Stephen P. Kiernan is much more than just another WWII novel. It covers the Normandy invasion like never before. Is almost like the author was actually there.
Emmanuelle is 22 when the German’s arrive and take over her small village near Normandy. Since the age of 13 she’s been baking bread with the village baker and is very good at it. But when the Germans take the baker away never to be seen again, Emmy begins plotting. She’s discovered that if she mixes enough pulverized straw in with the flour allotted her she can make the loaves stretch a bit more. You see, the German’s love her bread and have her making a dozen baguettes each morning, but only for them. Emmy makes two more loaves and distributes them among the hungry in her village. And, thus, begins a series of bartering which helps keep the villagers alive.
THE BAKER’S SECRET is filled with strong, courageous, resilient and proud people, none more so than Emmanuelle. The lengths she goes to to make sure her people survive is far beyond the norm.
The scenes of the actual invasion are so realistic as to almost make you turn away. I could hear the screams of the dying. See the smoke billowing up from the beaches. Feel the hair standing up on the back of their necks. And shudder at the knowledge of so many humans losing their lives.
The human spirit is made up of much more than we know. This novel shows as well as tells what it takes to be a village.
Emmanuelle will live forever in my mind and my heart. My hat goes off to her.
Thanks go out to William Morrow for providing the review copy. It’s a great book. Thanks.