Author: Aimie K. Runyan
Published by: William Morrow Paperbacks on Aug. 1, 2023
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Kaye Publicity
Book Rating: 8.5/10
From the author of The School for German Brides, this captivating historical novel set in nineteenth-century and post–World War II Paris follows two fierce women of the same family, generations apart, who find that their futures lie in the four walls of a simple bakery in a tiny corner of Montmartre.
1870: The Prussians are at the city gates, intent to starve Paris into submission. Lisette Vigneau—headstrong, willful, and often ignored by her wealthy parents—awaits the outcome of the war from her parents’ grand home in the Place Royale in the very heart of the city. When an excursion throws her into the path of a revolutionary National Guardsman, Théodore Fournier, her destiny is forever changed. She gives up her life of luxury to join in the fight for a Paris of the People. She opens a small bakery with the hopes of being a vital boon to the impoverished neighborhood in its hour of need. When the city falls into famine, and then rebellion, her resolve to give up the comforts of her past life is sorely tested.
1946: Nineteen-year-old Micheline Chartier is coping with the loss of her father and the disappearance of her mother during the war. In their absence, she is charged with the raising of her two younger sisters. At the hand of a well-meaning neighbor, Micheline finds herself enrolled in a prestigious baking academy with her entire life mapped out for her. Feeling trapped and desperately unequal to the task of raising two young girls, she becomes obsessed with finding her mother. Her classmate at the academy, Laurent Tanet, may be the only one capable of helping Micheline move on from the past and begin creating a future for herself.
Both women must grapple with loss, learn to accept love, and face impossible choices armed with little more than their courage and a belief that a bit of flour, yeast, sugar, and love can bring about a revolution of their own.
Rich, heartwarming, and romantic!
A Bakery in Paris is an absorbing tale set in Paris during the early 1870s, as well as the mid-1940s, that is told from two different perspectives; Lisette, a young woman from an upper-class family who, after spending many days learning the intricacies of cooking from the household servants, uses that knowledge when she chooses a simpler life with the man she loves, and Micheline, a nineteen-year-old girl left to raise her two younger siblings after losing her parents during WWII who through the generosity of a family friend attends a local baking school to master the art of cooking in order to reopen the bakery her great grandmother once cherished so long ago.
The writing is passionate and moving. The characters are determined, troubled, and strong. And the plot, told in a back-and-forth style, sweeps you away into an engaging, heartfelt tale about life, loss, friendship, family, heartbreak, tragedy, war, love, and food.
Overall, A Bakery in Paris is an alluring, evocative, compelling tale by Runyan that highlights the enduring power of passion, love and food and is, in my opinion, a wonderful choice for anyone who enjoys an atmospheric, dual-timeline story layered with romance and delectable delights.
This novel is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to Kaye Publicity for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.