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Author/Reader Discussions > The Baker's Daughter Author/Reader Discussion

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 9734 comments Mod
Hi everyone!

April's Author/Reader discussion novel will be Sarah McCoy's The Baker's Daughter.

Crown publishing has agreed to giveaway 10 domestic copies to stimulate discussion.

Head over to the blog to enter for your chance to win a copy! http://thenextbestbookblog.blogspot.c...

This is the book that took Twitter by storm!!!


message 2: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 9734 comments Mod
Winners have been chosen!!! Were you one of them?

http://thenextbestbookblog.blogspot.c...


message 3: by Pam (new)

Pam | 15 comments Woohoo Thanks so very much I can't wait to read and participate in the online discussion.
Love & Hugs,
Pam


message 4: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) So excited to have been selected as on of the winners. I can not wait to read this book and am really looking forward to the discussion.
Thanks so much,
Amanda


message 5: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 326 comments Thanks so much for the giveaway! Looking forward to the discussion next month!


message 6: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Phillips | 133 comments YAY! Got my book today :o) Can't wait for the discussion to commence. Thanks SO much :o)


message 7: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (amarie007) | 22 comments So happy that I won a copy! Can't wait to start reading it.


message 8: by Allison (new)

Allison (apuderbaugh) Got my copy in the mail yesterday. There is something special about a new book, especially straight from the publisher. Considered my Wednesday booked.


message 9: by tiasreads (new)

tiasreads I got my copy yesterday and stayed up until 3:30 this morning reading it. Can't wait for the discussion next month. Thank you, Lori!


message 10: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 611 comments I don't know if this is ok or not and Lori feel free to delete if not, but Sarah is chatting in one of my other groups for the next couple of days if anyone has any questions for her - http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/7...

she is also a fellow alum of Virginia Tech which I think is totally awesome and I really liked her debut book when I read it a couple of years ago, so I can't wait to read The Baker's Daughter


message 11: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Phillips | 133 comments Do most people read the book as the discussion is occurring or read it ahead of time? I was planning on reading it during the discussion so it is fresh in my mind.

Is there any kind of reading schedule that is posted once the discussion is actually underway?


message 12: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 9734 comments Mod
Hi Tracy, read it as you like.. some read ahead of time, some read during... so long as you read :)

No reading schedule is posted. I decided, when I first started to host these, that reading schedules might actually hinder those readers who are naturally quicker... and goodreads had this nifty little spoiler html code to hide spoilers as you discuss things if someone is farther along that you...

Hope this helps! And happy to see you are excited to get started.


message 13: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Phillips | 133 comments Thank you Lori.The information does help and yes I am excited to get started with the book and the discussion :o)


message 14: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Phillips | 133 comments Dee, thanks for the above link. I used the link to get better aquainted with the author before we start the discussion here and NOW I am even more excited to begin :o)


message 15: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 326 comments I had planned to read it after I finished The Sister Queens but I may pause it for this one.


message 16: by Sarah (new)

Sarah McCoy | 96 comments I can't wait to chat with everyone about The Baker's Daughter!! Soon, soon, soon, my friends.

P.S. April 15 is my fur-babe Gilly's 1st birthday so it's going to be a supa-spectacular kickoff day to our book club!


message 17: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 326 comments Just read the author profile and giggled. I'm a military brat myself that spent some of my childhood in Germany. I won't go into details until I finish the book but already there are pieces which resonate with me due to my personal experiences.


message 18: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (kate47) | 59 comments Tried to download 'The Bakers daughter ' unsuccessfully on my kindle , it doesn't seem to be available yet. Have to make a trip to town and get it,hope its stocked in our bookshop


message 19: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) Excited to be getting started on this today and really looking forward to the discussion.


message 20: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 9734 comments Mod
Since I will be working on Sarah's first day with us, I wanted to do the intro today and get my first question in. I encourage each one of you to also get a question posted up tonight, so Sarah has plenty of stuff to get started with :)

Hi Sarah! I am so excited to have you here in TNBBC on Goodreads this month. A very happy birthday to you, as well!!

There is incredible buzz surrounding your new novel The Baker's Daughter. How are handling all of it?!


message 21: by Pam (new)

Pam | 15 comments Hi Sarah I have finished "The Baker's Daughter" and truly enjoyed every page. I read with trepidation because I just wanted Tobias and Elsie to be ok. No spoilers here. I must say the visualizations of War torn Germany and seeing the story through the eyes of some of the soldiers was so enlightening.

I need the recipe for Bee Sting Honey cake it sounds inviting.
Love & Hugs,
Pam


message 22: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (amarie007) | 22 comments Sarah, what inspired you to parallel Nazi Germany and today's border wars? I thought they went together really well, but was curious what made you choose to tell these two stories.


message 23: by Pam (new)

Pam | 15 comments I also loved the way todays border wars was interwoven through this story. I was enlightened by the turmoil Riki felt at doing his job the right way but also the moral way.
Pam


message 24: by tiasreads (new)

tiasreads Hi, Sarah! Your book was so good, I finished it in one night and absolutely loved it. You touched on some big, potentially controversial topics, such as illegal immigration. Yet I never felt like your personal opinion was being forced on the reader. Was it hard to remain neutral while writing, or are you naturally a see-all-sides-to-the-story person?


message 25: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Phillips | 133 comments Sarah, I am on about page 147 of the book and throughly enjoying it! It really is a page turner. At this point I am axnious to find what happened to Elise's sister Hazel.

What is your personal connection to WWII? My grandma, a Russian Jew was born in the Pale of Settlement in Gomel aroound 1899 and lived under the rule of Czar Nicholas II until her family immigrated to the USA in about 1912-1913.


message 26: by Allison (new)

Allison (apuderbaugh) I appreciated the way the WWII characters were introduced. I am thinking specifically of Peter & Hazel. Was it a conscious effort to make everyone in some way a likable character?


message 27: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) Hi Sarah - Welcome! I really loved the book. I devoured it in 2 sittings. I'm curious about the title. There seem to be alot of books recently with titles of the _____ daughter or the ____ wife. Where did that trend start from and did you consider any other titles for your book. Not that I don't think the title isn't perfect just wondering if any others were in the running.

On a totally different topic I wanted to know how you felt about e-books. Are you a fan? Do you think they bring you additional readers or different readers? Thanks so much for chatting with us.


message 28: by tiasreads (new)

tiasreads I have to say that (view spoiler) was a truly twisted twist. How did you come up with that?


message 29: by Mirvan (new)

Mirvan  Ereon (mirvanereon) | 82 comments how can i get a copy of this book online? Sounds so fun!


message 30: by Sarah (new)

Sarah McCoy | 96 comments Hi Pam,

I'm THRILLED you enjoyed The Baker's Daughter! I have been passing out "Bonus Recipe" cards at all of my in-store readings and featuring recipes from the book on my blog (http://sarahmccoy.wordpress.com/2012/...). I may have to add the bienenstich (bee sting honey cake, p. 201) recipe, just for you. Nothing better than when an element of the story becomes reality... I'd love nothing more than for you to have tea and Elsie's honey cake with your family and/or friends.

Yours truly,
Sarah


Pam wrote: "Hi Sarah I have finished "The Baker's Daughter" and truly enjoyed every page. I read with trepidation because I just wanted Tobias and Elsie to be ok. No spoilers here. I must say the visualizat..."


message 31: by Sarah (new)

Sarah McCoy | 96 comments Hi Ashley,

Great question. Truthfully, I hadn't intended on paralleling them at all!

I lived in Germany during my childhood but more recently, my husband's family lived there. The last time I visited Germany was in 2001. I'd just completed a studying abroad program in Italy and my husband was beginning his summer job at a restaurant in Garmisch, Germany. Before I headed back to the States, I popped over to Bavaria to spend a week with him. I tell you all this to explain my connection to Germany.

Jump forward to 2007. We'd just moved to El Paso, Texas. I went to our local farmer's market and saw an elderly woman selling German bread. I figured I'd bring some authentic brötchen home--get a wife gold star for the day, you know. In casual conversation while I paid, I asked how the woman came to be in El Paso. She said she married an American soldier after the war and moved here. Lightning! The story muses bolted me over the cabeza. I was smitten by her and what my own imagined tale of her life. I went home and filled my journal with dreamed notes about her.

Reba's narrative arc came to me with equal force. All I need do was turn on my local news station, walk my neighborhood that's right beside the Rio Grande, listen to my students at the University of Texas at El Paso--basically be observant of my new town. The story of people living on the border was ripe and ready to be told.

That's how the two divergent ideas were born. I can't say I know or understand how fate and inspiration funnel stories through the storyteller. I'm just the channel, attempting to be as authentic and true to the heart as possible in my novels. That was my aim in The Baker's Daughter.

Yours truly,
Sarah


Ashley wrote: "Sarah, what inspired you to parallel Nazi Germany and today's border wars? I thought they went together really well, but was curious what made you choose to tell these two stories."


message 32: by Sarah (new)

Sarah McCoy | 96 comments Hi Suzanne,

Delighted to hear you loved The Baker's Daughter!
I'm not a writer who writes with a theme agenda. I don't say: This next book is about X (love, hate, immigration, politics, feminism, and so forth). Creatively, that's not how my imagination rolls.

I start with characters and research what socioeconomic, moral, familial, cultural, and governmental pressures are at work in their lives at a particular place, at a particular time in history. Because those elements change continually! That, alone, is enough information to keep a writer busy for months.

As I explained to Ashley above, Elsie and Reba came to me first. So I began by attempting to see the world they both inhabited from their perspective--not my own. If I had attempted to look at the stories from Sarah McCoy's shoes, it would've been extremely (if not impossible) to write authentically without casting moral judgment.

Personally, I don't enjoy being TOLD by authors how to feel about a character or situation. I don't appreciate being spoon-fed opinions. I'd rather come to them on my own. Perhaps that's my stubborn personality coming out--ha! But I write so readers are afforded the opportunity to think, discuss, ponder within, and decide for themselves.

I hope that answers your question! ;)

Yours truly,
Sarah

Suzanne C wrote: "Hi, Sarah! Your book was so good, I finished it in one night and absolutely loved it. You touched on some big, potentially controversial topics, such as illegal immigration. Yet I never felt lik..."


message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah McCoy | 96 comments Tracy,

Your family story is FASCINATING! I'm such a history buff. So already, I've started dreaming on your grandma's life journey just from the snippet you shared. Thank you for that!

I don't have any direct connection to WWII, but I do have plenty of military background. Both of my grandfathers were war veterans: Korea and Vietnam. My father was a career army man, deployed to Desert Storm and the Second Gulf War. My brother is an army aviator, deployed to Iraq. My husband is an army physician at Fort Bliss. So... I had a lot of "war" to relate to. As well, I have a lifelong connection to Germany, as I explained to Ashley in this thread. That background helped incredibly!

I hope you continue to enjoy the story as you read the second half of the book. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts in this discussion for the rest of April!

Yours truly,
Sarah


Tracy wrote: "Sarah, I am on about page 147 of the book and throughly enjoying it! It really is a page turner. At this point I am axnious to find what happened to Elise's sister Hazel.

What is your personal c..."



message 34: by Sarah (new)

Sarah McCoy | 96 comments Hi John,

Absolutely! It's available on all e-readers.
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/The-Bakers-Daug...
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baker...

As well, you can download reading materials (the first few chapters) for free on my website: http://sarahmccoy.com/the-bakers-daug...

Hope this helps!
Yours truly,
Sarah

John wrote: "how can i get a copy of this book online? Sounds so fun!"


message 35: by Sarah (new)

Sarah McCoy | 96 comments Hi Allison,

I'm so glad you sympathized with all the characters in The Baker's Daughter. When I write, I don't aim to make anybody likeable. My goal is to attempt to understand the psyches of characters... what makes them do the things they do; what makes them feel the things they feel; what makes them believe in the things they believe in. We're all human. Meaning: No man is a mythical monster. Even Hitler was destructible. I believe we, as human beings, inherently have a "right or wrong" gauge built into our spirit/soul/inner self. We have a choice: To listen to it or to ignore it. Either way, our actions reap consequences. It's a natural law.

All of my characters are terribly conflicted. All of them battle this right-vs.-wrong issue in some capacity. I'm still not sure I like all my characters, to be truthful. But I deeply respect their struggles. I respect that war is a nasty twisted thing that can blind us with fear.

Great question, Allison.

Yours truly,
Sarah

Allison wrote: "I appreciated the way the WWII characters were introduced. I am thinking specifically of Peter & Hazel. Was it a conscious effort to make everyone in some way a likable character?"


message 36: by Tracy (last edited Apr 15, 2012 12:37PM) (new)

Tracy Phillips | 133 comments Sarah wrote: "Tracy,

Your family story is FASCINATING! I'm such a history buff. So already, I've started dreaming on your grandma's life journey just from the snippet you shared. Thank you for that!

I don't ha..."


Sarah! I just finished your book. It was ABSOLUTELY amazing, all of it really! I loved the way you ended it :o)
My grandma from Gomel was a wonderful cook and awesome at baking to. As a child in her home on Cicero Avenue in Chicago and later on in her apartment near Devon Avenue some of my greatest memories were baking together with her and eating her wonderful meals. Having said that I truly could relate to the bakery part of the story as well as to all the WWII happenings.

I am glad that I could share with you something to dream about :o) Just to let you know a little more about my grandma so you have a bit more to dream about-

My grandma's family immigrated to Chicago where she met my grandfather as he was passing through with a couple of his friends on their way to NYC. Needless to say my grandfather never made it further then Chicago. He married my grandma in June of about 1921 and they raised a family there. The may not have had their own bakery but for awhile during the depression they had their own dry cleaning business.

The interesting thing about their relationship was that my grandfather was NOT Jewish. My grandparents were married secretly and lived apart for about a year until they broke the news to my grandma's parents!

Happy dreaming :o)


message 37: by Pam (new)

Pam | 15 comments Sarah I was reading and finished the book at my sister's house. I told her what a good book it was but would not part with it because of the recipes. I told her to get her own *wink* or perhaps her big sis will pony up a book just because.

It reminded me of my Mom and Dad who would bake the bestest sweetest bread at Easter time to serve with the meal. I believe it was a Slovak recipe though.

Also thanks for the reply I loved that people were inspired to bake some of the recipes in the book.


message 38: by Sarah (new)

Sarah McCoy | 96 comments Hey there again, Suzanne!

The true, short answer: I had absolutely no say in that scene. Ha! I actually didn't want that scene to happen the way it did but, again, I'm simply the conduit for the characters. They run the show. They direct the narrative arc. After I wrote that scene, I read it back and gasp, Noooo! But it was necessary and authentic to Josef's story--to his character transformation and metamorphosis. He's deeply conflicted. He's tormented by his own past, present and future... I best stop there. I don't want to give too much away to those who are currently reading or just starting The Baker's Daughter. ;)

Yours truly,
Sarah

Suzanne C wrote: "I have to say that [spoilers removed] was a truly twisted twist. How did you come up with that?"


message 39: by Sarah (new)

Sarah McCoy | 96 comments Hey amazing friend and lovely TNBBC hostess, Lori!

To your question re: handling the incredibly generous media buzz around The Baker's Daughter.

Basically I wake up every morning and THANK GOD people are reading, enjoying, and sharing the novel with their friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc. Then I squeeze my eyes together extra hard and beg the heavens, Please, please let people continue to like it!! I guess it's my subconscious tapping into the "bursting bubble" fear. I don't pinch myself because if I'm dreaming, God help me I don't want to wake up! ;)

That's all pretty poor handling, I guess. Ha ha.

Bottom line: I'm profoundly grateful. I stay connected to wonderful readers because if it weren't for them, I'd be lost. They make every moment golden. Everyone in this book club is part of that. So even in this moment, I'm thankful for you.

Yours truly,
Sarah

Lori wrote: "Since I will be working on Sarah's first day with us, I wanted to do the intro today and get my first question in. I encourage each one of you to also get a question posted up tonight, so Sarah has..."


message 40: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Phillips | 133 comments Sarah,like Suzanne I was surprised by the twisted twist she mentioned above and have a question as it relates to the rest of the story. However, since you will be with us for a couple weeks, I think I will save the question for later and give others a chance to catch up :o)


message 41: by Lan (new)

Lan  (AlannaM) | 1 comments Hi Sarah! This is more a comment than a question. Admittedly, I don't read many books about this time period, so maybe it is common, but when I do (for example, I read it back to back with Sarah's key) the perspective is usually from the other side. I found this change refreshing. Usually I think Nazi and associate it with all the horrors that come with it. I was surprised to find myself emphasizing with these characters. Getting excited about a Nazi ball? I was not expecting to feel excited for her. I think for me it was a nice change of pace to be able to understand what everyday life was like for "the other side". I'm not sure if I'm articulating it properly, but I hope I'm making some sense. I've never really stopped to consider the other side of things in this instance, and it was nice to step out of my comfort zone in that way.


message 42: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 326 comments I'm about a quarter through the novel and my goosebumps won't stop rising. The imagery is very intense to the point of smelling fresh brotchen waiffing down the street when there are sadly no bakeries in my area -- well not like the German ones of my youth. In fact, I was born in the Bavaria region and have a German family. Over the years they've told me a little about life since the war and the changes; it all seems so very secretive or at least that was my impression as a child when I asked questions.

So the book simply reminds me of my family and makes me wonder what they went through as well and how they adapted. Since I'm not too far into the novel yet, I ccan see the parallels to the border and look forward to reading that this afternoon on my deck.

And I am excited to get all those recipes. Smells from my time there are comforting. Have you thought about getting in touch with local bakeries to do book readings there?


message 43: by Allison (new)

Allison (apuderbaugh) I thought the scene at the end with Joseph helped to redeem his character. He started out very sympathetic but slowly worked himself into a truly despicable person. The end scene helped to save him, in my opinion.


message 44: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Phillips | 133 comments Sarah, I woke up thinking about the Baker's Daughter this morning :o) Even though I have finished the book the characters are still very much alive for me!

One of the things that popped into my mind was how vivid the characters are along with war time Germany.

Getting to know you here in chat has really given me the feeling that character's begin, at least as an extension of you and your expediences before they take on a life of their own. I think it is this feeling as well as other factors that made the book me so "real" to me and everyone in the book so interesting :o) I thank you for a wonderful read!


message 45: by Julie (new)

Julie | 1 comments Hello Sarah,

I finished your book yesterday and loved Elise's character. I could only hope to have her courage if faced with similar situations.

I also loved all the descriptions of the baked goods. They gave me cravings. Thank you for the recipes at the end. I hope to have time to try some of them.

You gave great details about German life that I never knew. I always wondered about certain aspects of what German people allowed to happen in their nation.

Thanks for finishing the story with a fulfilling ending. You didn't leave us wondering how some characters continued. I love a good....sigh....at the end!


message 46: by Sarah (new)

Sarah McCoy | 96 comments Pam, that Slovak Easter bread recipe sounds divine! I'm clapping my hands in my writing office that you treasured The Baker's Daughter so much and that it inspired you to remember your own family recipes. That speaks volumes!

Yours truly, Sarah

Pam wrote: "Sarah I was reading and finished the book at my sister's house. I told her what a good book it was but would not part with it because of the recipes. I told her to get her own *wink* or perhaps h..."


message 47: by Sarah (new)

Sarah McCoy | 96 comments Hi Amanda,

I want to jump back up in the thread and address your question because it is an excellent one!

The Baker's Daughter has had the title "The Baker's Daughter" since it arrived on my word document screen. Initially, in my journal scribblings, I called it "The Lebkuchen story" and "The Garmisch story" as quick reminders because I tend to intersperse my journal pages with random tidbits from my life--ticket stubs from movies I enjoyed, postcards from places I traveled, quotes I run into that move me, ramblings of a whiney author when I'm having a curmudgeon day, etc. So when I had a snippet related to this story--I'd write one of those two story cues at the top of the page. However, from the day I began the actual writing on my laptop, I called it The Baker's Daughter. I'm not sure how or why that switch occurred. Serendipity at work, I suppose.

I agree with you. There are a lot of daughter and wife titles. The Millions literary website just ran a wonderful essay addressing that very subject and mentioned The Baker's Daughter. Here's the link: http://www.themillions.com/2012/03/th...

I'm not sure why this is such a trend these days... perhaps women are finally getting their spotlight in literature. I'd like to think that is true.

To your question regarding e-books. Personally, I'm a paper and glue woman. I need that tangible journey (turning pages, smelling the ink, etc.) alongside my imaginary one. However, many of my dearest friends are e-reader aficionados. I say, if you're reading, that's a very, very good thing. Period. For me, books become new friends. I like to have them standing behind me on my bookshelf. Their bright covers cheering me on as I write. I'm a book romantic.

I'm SO happy you loved The Baker's Daughter. That's my favorite kind of review-- "I devoured it..." ;)

Yours truly, Sarah

Amanda wrote: "Hi Sarah - Welcome! I really loved the book. I devoured it in 2 sittings. I'm curious about the title. There seem to be alot of books recently with titles of the _____ daughter or the ____ wife. Wh..."


message 48: by Sarah (new)

Sarah McCoy | 96 comments Alanna,

You articulated it fabulously, m'dear. That is exactly what hoped and prayed for this novel--that it would be effectual, and allow readers to step outside of their perspective and look at our world/history/selves from a different angle. Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts!

I encourage all readers on this thread to share your feelings and ideas. You don't have to necessarily ask a question. I love hearing how the story moves you. So, Alanna, thank you for contributing your comments!

Yours truly, Sarah

P.S. Sarah's Key is one of my favorite books!

Alanna wrote: "Hi Sarah! This is more a comment than a question. Admittedly, I don't read many books about this time period, so maybe it is common, but when I do (for example, I read it back to back with Sarah's ..."


message 49: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) Sarah - thanks so much for answering my questions and for providing the link to the millions article I enjoyed reading that. I love your comments about books. I am a book person for sure but I do see a place for ereaders. I loved what you said about them standing up and cheering you on. I'm going to think of my books as my cheerleaders for life from now on. :)

Amanda


message 50: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) Hi Sarah - some more questions for you...do you read alot of fiction and if so what are some of your favorite titles and some that you are currently enjoying?


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