The Baker's Secret
Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.
But in the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers.
But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.
The Baker's Secret is an instant classic hit! From the very beginning, I was transported back in time. I could feel the pain and anger when Ezra was executed by the Germans. Even though I barely got to know him, I had already started to form a connection with him. From the moment that Emma won him over with her knowledge and professionalism in the bakery.
Although, Emma really did carry the story from the beginning until the end. Yet, she did have help from all of her neighbors and friends. From the fisherman, who traded his catch in exchange for fuel to the farmer, who gave away his fuel in exchange for tobacco, etc. Even with Emma's downer attitude of no hope that she and her neighbors will ever see the Germans leave, she could not get me down; only because she made up for it by her defiance in helping the Resistance. The Baker's Secret is a beautifully written book.