Friday Book Whimsy: The Baker’s Daughter

Reba Adams is a journalist working for an El Paso magazine. She has been asked to write a feel-good Christmas piece featuring German immigrant Elsie Schmidt who runs a German bakery using the recipes she learned from her German parents. Thinking it will be a slam-dunk, Reba is surprised to find that she is entranced by the story of this immigrant who lived in Germany during World War II. She is so entranced, in fact, that she comes back again and again to the bakery where she is fed bodily and spiritually by the story of this strong woman.

Elsie’s story includes being engaged to a Nazi officer, while at the same time, rescuing a young Jewish boy who nearly brings disaster to Elsie and her family.

The Baker’s Daughter, by Sarah McCoy, is a wonderful account of what it was like to be a typical German family and business owner during the time of the Nazis. Being a baker’s daughter myself, I loved the stories of how the family offered the baked goods for the German people who often didn’t have enough to feed their families.

The main problem with the story, at least in this reader’s opinion, was the sideline story of Reba’s boyfriend who is a border agent in El Paso. I liked his character and his story at the beginning, as it seemed to show both sides of the issue. But it troubled me that the author tried to compare the immigrant issue to the Holocaust, and I found that distracting and offputting.

Still, the story was enjoyable and any book that ends with recipes captures my attention.

Here is a link to the book.