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The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy

The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy
  • On sale: January 1, 1970
  • Price: $
  • ISBN: 9780307460189
Contact: Nora O’Malley

Advance Praise for Sarah McCoy and The Baker’s Daughter

“A beautiful, heartbreaking gem of a novel written just the way I like them, with the past coming back to haunt the present, endearing heroines and a sunny, hopeful ending. You’ll wolf it up in one delicious gulp.” —Tatiana de Rosnay, international bestselling author of Sarah’s Key and A Secret Kept

“A haunting and beautiful story . . . Spanning sixty years, and taking on forms of human cruelty and indifference ranging from the Nazis to modern-day immigration reform, The Baker’s Daughter forces us to examine the choices we make. I was riveted from start to finish.” —J. Courtney SullivanNew York Times bestselling author of Commencement and Maine 

“A sensitive, multilayered novel, this is a moving examination of the effect war and the politics of exclusion, have on the human heart.” —Amanda HodgkinsonNew York Times bestselling author of 22 Britannia Road


In her first novel, The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico, Sarah McCoy delivered a transcendent and beautifully mysterious exploration of love, community, and self-discovery against the backdrop of political unrest. In her second novel, THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER (Crown; January 24, 2012), McCoy again weaves a compelling and original story, this time examining  the residual effects of World War II on its survivors, juxtaposed with the current political tensions in the American southwest.

As the daughter of a military officer, Sarah McCoy spent much of her childhood in Germany, experiencing a culture still deeply shaped by the events of WWII. It was not until she moved to El Paso, however, and was asked to write a story about the robust community of Germans living on an airbase in nearby New Mexico that she started to draw startling parallels between the anxiety of immigrants living in border towns and the fear she imagined many in Germany felt during the war. After meeting an elderly German bread maker, McCoy found her inspiration for her protagonist Elsie, and THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER was born.
In 1945 Germany, Elsie Schmidt was a naive teenager hoping for a first kiss, a sip of champagne, and looking ahead to her future after the war. A high-ranking Nazi official hoped to make her his bride and managed to protect Elsie and her family from the worst of the terror and desperation overtaking the country. So, when an escaped Jewish boy arrives on Elsie’s doorstep in the dead of night on Christmas Eve, Elsie understands that opening the door would put all she loves in danger.

Sixty years later, in El Paso, Texas, Reba Adams is trying to file a feel-good Christmas piece about an elderly baker across town for the local magazine. The interview should be quick and easy, but the owner of Elsie’s German Bakery is no easy subject. She keeps turning the tables on Reba, who finds herself returning to the bakery again and again. Reba begins to finally face the memories of a turbulent childhood she’s attempted to avoid her entire life and to take a hard look at her engagement to Riki, a rigid agent for the US Border Patrol. For Elsie, Reba’s questions have brought back memories of a darker time: her life in Germany during the last desperate year of World War II. And as Elsie, Reba, and Riki’s lives become more intertwined, all three are forced to confront the uncomfortable truths of their pasts and seek out the courage to forgive.

The turbulent and emotional situation taking place along the border in the Southwest is a subject that few authors have tackled. In THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER, Sarah McCoy expertly weaves a story begging to be told with a unique aspect of a well-known piece of history, and the result is a beautifully rich and captivating tale of an unlikely friendship, love, and family.

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SARAH McCOY is author of the novel The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico. She has taught at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. The daughter of an Army officer, McCoy spent her childhood in Germany. She currently lives with her husband in El Paso, Texas. Visit her online at

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