Monday, February 27, 2012
The Baker's Daughter
It flips back and forth between 1945 Germany and 2007 El Paso. Reba Adams writes for a magazine and interviews Elsie Schmitt Meriwether. Elsie runs a German bakery in Texas, taking after her father who also owned a bakery in Germany. The novel takes us back to the last year of WWII. Elsie is engaged to a German soldier but secretly hiding a Jewish boy under the eaves in her bedroom.
Reba's fiance, whose parents came from Mexico, now works for the border patrol and is having a difficult time following the rules and sending mothers and children back to the hopelessness they had been trying to escape in Mexico.
Reba, herself, is trying to put her past and her father's suicide behind her.
The novel is told through several different characters and even some letters written to and from Elsie's sister who is part of the Lebensborn Program. I had never heard of this program in which good Aryan girls allowed themselves to become pregnant by Aryan soldiers to further the race.
Lots of threads to this novel but it isn't confusing at all.
The writing is fresh and filled with the aromas of German breads and pastries. It's beautifully poetic. Sarah McCoy's metaphors and similes are perfection.