Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* By June fourth of 1944, Emma and her fellow villagers on the Normandy coast have known German occupation for years. The army takes the lion's share of whatever is available, leaving the people hungry and wanting, and an atmosphere of despair has settled over the town. Emma was still a young woman when the Germans came and when she watched as they killed the kind Jewish baker to whom she was apprenticed. From that time forward, Emma has kept her head down, baking only the bread she is ordered to provide to the German officers, until a day when her ingenuity and fighting spirit lead her down a different path. Taciturn and full of dread, Emma manages to bring hope to her townspeople, finding solutions to their needs and delivering food to the starving and wish-list items to the downhearted. But even while helping others, Emma feels only a stubborn nihilism, wondering why she even bothers when there is no sign of relief on the horizon. Kiernan (The Hummingbird, 2015) invites readers to fully connect with his depressed and stoic heroine in this beautifully written account of the emotional and moral struggles of a people gripped by fear in the depths of WWII.--Ophoff, Cortney Copyright 2017 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Emma, a 22-year-old baker, has lived her whole life in the small Normandy village of Vergers, where everyone knows everyone else's business. She dreams only of marrying her -beloved Philippe. But it's right before D-Day, 1944, and her networking skills and resourcefulness cause her, in spite of herself, to evolve into a heroine who will help the village survive. Former journalist Kiernan (The Hummingbird; The Curiosity) uses his considerable reporting skills to depict daily life in the French town. The villagers fight the occupying German Army with small but nonetheless incredibly brave daily acts of defiance. -Monkey Boy, Guillaume the veterinarian, Uncle Ezra, who is Emma's Jewish mentor, as well as Monsignor, the priest who both baptizes and buries each villager, and Michelle, who enters into a romance with a German soldier and pays the price-all will linger in readers' memories. VERDICT This moving and thought-provoking work of historical fiction will be popular with lovers of other recently popular World War II novels such as Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See and Kristin Hannah's The -Nightingale. [See Prepub Alert, 12/5/16.]-Elizabeth Safford, Boxford Town Lib., MA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.