The Baker's Daughter
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The Baker's Daughter

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  6,529 ratings  ·  1,031 reviews
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 und...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Crown (first published 2012)
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I stayed up much too late to finish this book so I'm not sure that I am awake enough to make sense here, but I just had to find out how it all came to an end. I really liked this book, although I definitely was hooked on the part that was taking place in Germany during and after the war. Reba's story, which took place in modern day Texas, was not nearly as interesting to me.
I didn't know much about the Nazi's Lebensborn program (I did quite a bit of googling while I was reading) and Hazel's exp...more
Sarah McCoy
Sep 16, 2011 Sarah McCoy added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Can't wait to share this novel with you all!
ehhhhh, I thought this book was ok. I think the author had a theme (parallels that highlight that the moral high ground isn't always defined by a bright line, whether US border patrol or a German soldier or citizen--pretty ridiculous)and executed against it. The writing was really lacking for me. The parallels felt forced, the characters fell flat, and the book overall came across as a little contrived and even trite. The characters felt caricature-ish (southern writer with depressed dad has tro...more
Lacey Hays
I was unable to finish this book, and I desperately wanted to. Unfortunately, only half of the story was interesting. The story of Elsie was engrossing and well told. Her character was fully developed, and her life a window into a part of the Third Reich that is not spoken of frequently, that of a normal German woman trying to survive and follow her conscience. Her story, and that of her sister, shows the reader the place of women in Nazi Germany.

If the author had continued with Elsie's story, I...more
I absolutely loved this book. I loved the parallel stories although I enjoyed Elsie's a bit more. The writing was great, really grabs you and emerge you into the story line right away. I could hardly put it down. The book made me gasp out loud and cry at parts. Definitely a great read, highly recommend it. It's a book that you can't stop thinking about even after it's over. Loved it.
Andrea at Reading Lark
Review Posted on Reading Lark 3/6/12:

The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy is one of those books that grabs you and refuses to let you go. There are so many elements that rise to the surface with this one that I found myself having to put the novel down and walk away for a bit to digest it all. I went through a wide range of emotions while reading this one. The Baker's Daughter is a story that spans three generations and focuses not only on the past, but is...more
Alex Baugh
There seems to be a lot of anticipation about to soon to be released novelThe Baker’s Daughter and I can understand why. Split between past and present, Nazi Germany in the last year of World War II and present day El Paso, Texas, it is the story of two very different women and how they each find themselves.
Elsie Schmidt,16, is the second daughter of bakers in Garmisch, Germany. Her older sister, Hazel, has been in the Lebensborn Program to produce strong, racially pure babies for the Fatherland...more
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.

I really enjoyed this story about Elsie living in WWII Germany. The book shows that all Germans were not active in the atrocities, and that many families were trying to live their normal lives. Some of them were also affected by things like the Lebensborn program. The aim of this program was to increase the Germanic/Nordic population. It was basically a place where racia...more
Diane S.
I fell in love with the character Elise from the very beginning. From the past, in her homeland of Nazi Germany to her current life in El Paso, Texas, the connecting thread a bakery and the baked goods that sustain her and her families souls. The present story is also interesting with a woman unsure of the future and her fiance, who works for the border patrol and like Elise in the past begins questioning if what he and his country is doing is right. The cruelty of Nazi Germany, the saving of on...more
This book ended up being very disappointing, although I thought the plot had a lot of potential. It read very much like Sarah's Key, switching back and forth between a modern story and a WWII story in Germany. But it had the same problem as Sarah's Key--the modern line was almost completely uninteresting, and I just kept waiting to get back to the WWII story.

I don't think this book was written very well, and it relied mostly on dramatic events to be exciting. I prefer books that are written in...more
Melissa Crytzer Fry
I fell in love with this novel that not only told a compelling story of one of the strongest, most likeable female characters I’ve read, but did so with language that was delicious enough to eat (the baking themes and metaphors were melt-in-your-mouth good). I seriously could not get enough.

McCoy is a master of weaving concurring plots – one set in ’40s Nazi Germany and a parallel plot set in 2007-08 Texas. The book was part historical fiction (readers are introduced to the unscrupulous Nazi Le...more
Given the excellent reviews this book has received, I was disappointed. Sarah McCoy's story tracks the life of Elsie (the baker's daughter of the title) during World War II in Garmisch,Germany, where her family, stalwart National Socialists, runs a bakery, and in present day El Paso, Texas. In the El Paso segments, Elsie's story is subordinate to a plot line involving Reba, an American writer and Riki, a Latino border patrol agent. I guess the author's intent is that Reba learn to face life chal...more

First thoughts after finishing: "What an emotional powerhouse!"

I love books that make me weep with sadness and feel such empathy to the characters...this book does that and so much more. I cracked the spine of The Baker's Daughter late in the morning on Saturday and finished it as the sun peeked over the horizon announcing the arrival of Sunday. I was so thankful that I was the only one awake during those first early hours because I was able to be alone with my thoughts after I finished the book...more
Barbara Kinsky
This book was one of my favorite reads! Very similar to The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult but told more from a German living in Germany during WWII. I loved the 2 different stories being told especially going back in time. I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys reading about WWII in Germany. Brilliant!!
So what we have here is two story lines, one set in present day Texas, one set in WWII Germany, featuring bakeries, some good strong characters, themes of family, understanding, forgiveness and recipes? Yes, please. Four and a half stars.

I read this basically in one day. I picked it up of the new book shelf at the library because it sounded like my kind of book and then set it aside because, as often seems to be the case, not one but two other requested, highly desirable books came in - and I c...more
This novel takes place in both Garmisch, Germany, and El Paso, Texas, from 1944 to the late 2000's. I am a huge fan of historical fiction that takes place in Nazi Germany, and I think that part of this novel was the strongest. The story moves back and forth between Germany and El Paso, and I think the author managed the transitions very well. I would also mention that the historical facts appeared very well-researched and accurate which is important to me. I loved that the German language was sp...more
This historical novel focuses on a German family that supports Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich during WW II. This is the first time that I have read anything that is written from this perspective. I have read many titles that deal with the Jews and their persecution and murders. I have read many stories of Jewish survivors of this horror. I have also read the stories of "Righteous Gentiles" who saved the lives of many Jews, and I am currently reading several books about the great German theolog...more
Lydia Laceby
Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes

The Baker's Daughter is riveting and haunting and I loved every word. A story of family, love and choices, this novel alternates between a vivid portrayal of World War II via Elsie as she comes of age during the war and Reba in the present day whose own traumatic life events have shaken her. As the two lives intersect, this novel shows how the past can help heal the present - if we're willing to listen.

I LOVED Elsie. She's spunky, fearless and feisty. The choi...more
readinghearts (Lyn M)
Oct 24, 2013 readinghearts (Lyn M) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: historical fiction fans, especially those who like WWII stories
Recommended to readinghearts (Lyn M) by: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book
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 wani...more
I really loved this book a lot. It is one of those books that I know I will be thinking about for a long time. Sarah McCoy takes what would seem to be two totally different story lines and blends them into an unforgettable story. One part of the story is set in the present time and focuses on Reba who feels lost and alone and does not know what to do with her life. She is in a relationship with Riki who works for the US Border Patrol but has been having doubts. While learning about her life we a...more

The Baker's Daughter has the potential of being one of the most talked about book at book clubs all over the country. But I will warn you that Reba's story line is not nearly as compelling as Elsie's. There were even times where I wondered if the author was trying to make a comparison between Hitler's Gestapo and the present day Border Patrol, but I talked myself out of that theory. It is just not a comparison that I am comfortable with, so I will say it w...more
This was a great story in so many ways! Reba Adams is a reporter and she meets Elsie Meriwether while writing a Christmas-themed story. The book goes back and forth from the present to Elsie's past during World War II. Eventually, the past is connected with the present, and Reba learns a lot about what is truly important in her life.

This novel includes letters and emails, introduces a lot of characters and covers a lot of topics (war, immigration, complex relationships with people, etc.), but I...more
THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER is one of those books you don't want to end. The story begins in a small bakery in Garmisch, Germany during World War II. It is full of richly developed characters whose lives come together in El Paso, Texas. It is a story of being true to yourself, of love and friendship, and of the strength of family bonds. THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER is beautifully written and will hold you spellbound from the first word to the last. I wholeheartedly recommend you put Sarah McCoy's THE BAKER'S D...more
I knew nothing of the Nazi's Lebensborn program before reading this book. The letters between the sisters were typed in fonts that was difficult for me to read late at night or in the early morning and I wished I'd had the ability to make the print larger, but the emotions and the information that passed back and forth were so heart-wrenching.

I loved the ending and the characters. It was a nice bonus that the book included recipes--must try a few.
Sarah Jio
I adored this novel! Highly recommend!
The Baker’s Daughter caught my attention initially because of its tie to World War II. But if you are thinking the novel is just another story about a woman who must decide whether or not to shelter a Jewish person during the Holocaust, you’d be mistaken. Beneath the surface is a story about love, about family and about relationships. It’s about facing our demons—our pasts—our fears and our regrets. And about forgiveness—not only of others, but of ourselves.

I loved Elsie Schmidt from the beginn...more
It is perhaps human nature to believe that everyone that "supported" the Nazis were bad people. The truth is that many people were simply trapped in an environment where speaking out meant imprisonment, torture or death. Elsie's family operated a bakery in Germany during the war and they were simply trying to survive along with others in their community. Elsie's older sister had been taken into a "breeding" program and her sole purpose was to produce kids for the great Aryan nation. Elsie is lef...more
Sue Seligman
Feb 07, 2012 Sue Seligman rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: lovers of historical fiction, esp Holocaust themed books
Recommended to Sue by: read online revies
I just finished this novel, and all I can say is....Wow! At first I expected it to be another in a long list of Holocaust fiction that I have been reading my whole life, but I was attracted to it by the recommendation from either Goodreads or Facebook, which stated that if you liked Sarah's Key, then you would enjoy this novel. This was the hook that reeled me in, and was it ever accurate! The story spans several historical time periods, most importantly, the final year of World War II later, 20...more
Deborah Blanchard
This is one of those exquisite books that transports you to another place and time. It was the perfect blend of then and now, of the horrors of war and the beauty of love. It shows that sacrifice can be a good thing, that people can be kind. My favorite phrase in this book was "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", is that not a song for the soul. I loved all the characters in this book, they were so well...more
Caren ~ the misfit geek
This is a poignant tale that spans decades and shows us what true courage and beauty is. I really loved this book from prologue to epilogue. I was transported to a different time and place, and back, flawlessly. Ms. McCoy did a masterful job of using letter writing and email correspondence to help tell the story. She wove two parallel stories into one cohesive unit. She even included the recipes for the breads referred to throughout the book.

The thing I love about historical fiction is that once...more
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SARAH McCOY is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the novels The Baker's Daughter, The Time It Snowed In Puerto Rico and Grand Central.

The Baker's Daughter was praised as "a beautiful heart-breaking gem of a novel" by Tatiana de Rosnay and "a thoughtful reading experience indeed" by Chris Bohjalian. The Baker's Daughter was a Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club select...more
More about Sarah McCoy...
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“People often miss things that don't exist--miss things that were but are not anymore.” 18 likes
“We all tell little lies about ourselves, Our past, our presents. We think some of them are minuscule, unimportant, And others, large and incriminating. But they are the same. Only God Has enough of the story to judge our souls.” 10 likes
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