The Baker’s Secret focuses on the small French coastal town of Vergers. World War II submerges the town with German soldiers and Jewish persecution. Emma apprenticed with the town’s master baker until she was hauled off to a prison camp. Emma is renowned for her baguettes and soon must bake a dozen loaves daily for the German commander. Emma devises a way to stretch the flour ration so that she can bake two extra contraband loaves per day to feed the townspeople and barter for other needed items. Emma quickly learns all the happenings in the town and tries to help everyone while staying under the radar of the Germans.
Emma’s youth stands still as she becomes embroiled in saving herself and her town. Her new love goes off to war and her mentor off to prison. The Baker’s Secret centers around a time period that will be familiar to many readers, and Emma is an interesting heroine. Readers will embrace Emma’s bravery and brazenness to beat the enemy. Kiernan writes in a matter-of-fact style and the pace feels a bit too slow. If a reader has an interest in WWII, this novel is worthwhile, but she should be prepared not to encounter any surprises or unexpected endings.
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