The Good: A rich community of characters, a beautiful depiction of provincial France, the French perspective on a major World War II turning point, a writing style that makes France during the Nazi occupation seem somehow fairy tale-esque.
The Bad: Needs more exposition. In a book full of “are things as they seem?” with the small and large acts of resistance from the occupied villagers, I was dying for a little more “this is the rest of the story on X character.”
The Verdict: I like Stephen Kiernan’s books, enough to give them four stars on Goodreads, but there’s always just a little something missing that keeps me from all-out loving them. I loved all the parts of this book but, as a whole, it just falls the tiniest bit short. That said, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend The Baker’s Secret. It’s a welcome addition to the World War II historical fiction genre I love so much.
Review copy received from the publisher.