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The Baker's Daughter

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  22,627 ratings  ·  2,289 reviews
Garmisch, Germania, inverno 1944. È un anello di fidanzamento, quello che un ufficiale nazista ha appena messo al dito della giovane Elsie. Un anello che potrebbe cancellare l'amaro sapore della guerra, regalando a lei e alla sua famiglia il sogno di una vita in cui l'aria profuma di biscotti allo zenzero e di serenità. Invece, d'un tratto, Elsie si ritrova a guardare negl ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 279 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Broadway Books
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Cathy I grew up in N. Indiana (also S. IN and KY for 3 of those years) in the mid 50's to early 70's and every house I lived in all toilets were inside even…moreI grew up in N. Indiana (also S. IN and KY for 3 of those years) in the mid 50's to early 70's and every house I lived in all toilets were inside even my grandmother's 1800's farm house. I lived in 5 houses during that time from small to large and 2 of them from the early 1800's and the rest about 20-30 years old.

I think it would depend on the area/town. (less)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  22,627 ratings  ·  2,289 reviews

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Angela M
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it

It seems to be a trend - stories with alternating narratives of the past and present. I know that for some this mechanism has gotten tiresome but I happen to really enjoy the blending of the past and present, the connecting of stories and characters from different times. The place and the circumstances are almost always different and if this is done well, there is something that grabs me as the stories are brought together. Sarah McCoy has done just that in this moving novel set in El Paso Texas
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorites..Like "Those Who Save Us" you'll learn what German women endured during Hitler's reign...yet, the story is completely different and well worth reading...discussing the Lebensborn program which is shrouded in secrecy. ...more
Diane S ☔
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Pam Jenoff
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
In The Baker's Daughter, Sarah McCoy writes of Elsie, a German girl whose sheltered life is upended by the arrival of a Jewish boy on her doorstep. The story is illuminated by its telling 60 years later by Elsie to a writer If you love World War II fiction and have not read this book, you are missing out! ...more
Melissa Crytzer Fry
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wip-comps
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
Sara (taking a break)
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle-purchase
I probably need to shy away from anything that is written about Nazi Germany, but there is so much potential for good material there and so much excellence in some of the things already written that I find myself being pulled in again and again. Can you say "cliche"? You cannot humanize a man who runs a concentration camp by having him kill a fellow soldier who kills a Jewish woman while arresting her husband. Why can't you tell the story of a normal German family who find themselves almost auto ...more
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
May 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
What to say? It really had the potential to be a great novel, but the non-chronological jumping around between families felt like a chore. I quite literally could not have cared any less about Reba and Riki and I wish they had been left out of the book altogether. After reading a bio of the author I realize that they were meant to be loosely based on her own experience, but truthfully, I found them to be annoying. I felt that the author was trying to make a parallel between the US Border Patrol ...more
Sarah McCoy
Sep 16, 2011 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Can't wait to share this novel with you all! ...more
Andrea at Reading Lark
Review Posted on Reading Lark 3/6/12: http://readinglark.blogspot.com/2012/...

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
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional story told from a unique perspective. Most of the stories I have read based during WWII are narratives of victims or relatives of victims of the Third Reich. In The Baker's Daughter, the tale is told of loyal citizens of Germany both during the war and in the present.
Told between the past and the present,Elsie and her family's emotions run the gamut from fervent nationalism and blind loyalty to doubt and fear as the war grinds on and the atrocities mount. And in the present we are t
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
How to make a Baker's Daughter Multilayer Cake.

-Four (or more) sympathetic perspectives.
-Two cups of pathos: one from WWII Germany, the other from modern Texas.
-One tablespoon of drama (easy to overdo it here.)
-A pinch of heartbreak and a dollop of humanity.
-As many descriptions of tempting German confections as will fit in your mixing bowl.

Stir the confection gently; you'll find the varied scenes and perspectives blend together quite naturally. Then bake for 280 brisk pages. The fin
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-tlc, 2012-reads

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
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Alex  Baugh
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-2
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
Barbara Kinsky
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii-holocaust
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!!
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nook, war-wwii
3.5 stars.
1942-1945 Nazi Germany is the setting for Elsie's remembrances, when she worried daily about the fate of her parents, their bakery business, and her older sister who is off having perfect Aryan babies to give away to the SS. What an insane program. What an insane time in history. It was closely paired with the modern-day story of Riki of the El Paso border patrol unit and his girlfriend Reba. The author imaginatively compares the treatment of the Jews to the treatment of illegals bei
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
I would definitely give this book a four-star review - the historical thread was beautifully written and Sarah McCoy managed to recreate the German reality in an amazing way. It was touching and carefully drawn, with great eye for unusual detail.
However, in my opinion she committed one huge mistake with the contemporary plot (in Reba's and Ricky story) by trying to compare the American-Mexican border situation to German situation during the World War II. I understand it was not intentional in an
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Totally over rated. I don't usually like fiction about the Nazi experience because there are so many fantastically written. In fiction books that it seems artificial. These characters were mostly that and the whole plot and story lines were disjointed and oddly unfinished. I don't understand and why people loved it so much unless they knew little or nothing about the reality of those times. ...more
Jan 30, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Through letters and remembrances, this book moves effortlessly between late second WW Germany and modern (2007) El Paso Texas. At the centre of the story is Elsie Schmidt, a teenager during the war growing up in Garmisch, Germany in her parent’s bakery. It is interesting this perspective of the War amongst everyday Germans during the Nazi reign in their country; so many turning a blind eye to the rumours of the atrocities going on. In 2007, Elsie and her daughter Jane run a German bakery in El P ...more
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this for book club, and thankfully it moved along quickly and descriptions didn't slow it down. Then again, the descriptions of the baked goods just made me hungry all the time! (There are recipes in the back and I am interested in trying some of them out.)

The story hits too close to home, even though it was published five years ago. There are two different scenarios that remind me of current events. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to read any further because of this, but then I de
Lyn (Readinghearts)
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
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
Nov 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
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overweight girl is bullied and falls in love with baker 1 1 Dec 22, 2021 09:37PM  
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What did you think? 1 11 May 03, 2016 04:08PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Baker's Daughter By Sarah McCoy 2 17 Nov 23, 2015 07:42PM  
I have just begun this book 5 65 Sep 12, 2014 01:29PM  
Busy as a Bee Books: The Baker's Daughter - Sarah McCoy 18 30 Aug 10, 2014 09:39AM  
Retro Chapter Chi...: July 2014: The Baker's Daughter 13 21 Jul 13, 2014 07:29AM  

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SARAH McCOY is the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of the novels MUSTIQUE ISLAND, MARILLA OF GREEN GABLES, THE MAPMAKER'S CHILDREN, THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER, THE TIME IT SNOWED IN PUERTO RICO, and "The Branch of Hazel," a novella in GRAND CENTRAL.

The Baker's Daughter was praised as "a beautiful heart-breaking gem of a novel" by Tatiana de Rosnay and "a thoughtful read

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