Excerpt from The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Discuss |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Baker's Daughter

A Novel

by Sarah McCoy

The Baker's Daughter
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2012, 304 pages
    Aug 2012, 304 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

While doing a story on immigration, she’d followed him around his border patrol station, barely able to keep her pen steady enough to take notes; the vibrations of his voice down her spine carried through to her fingertips like a tuning fork.

The station tour and interview ended where it began, at the entrance.

“We’re just everyday guys doing our jobs,” he’d said and opened the door for her exit.

She’d nodded and stood for an uncomfortably long moment, unable to convince her feet to move out of his dark, magnetic stare.

“I may need a little more info— would you be available later?” she’d asked, and he’d promptly dictated his cell phone number.

A few weeks later, she lay naked beside him, wondering who was this woman that possessed her body. Not Reba Adams. Or at least not the Reba Adams from Richmond, Virginia. That girl would never have slept with a man after knowing him such little time. Scandalous! But this girl felt shiny new, and that was exactly what she wanted. So she had curled her body around his and leaned her chin on his tanned chest, knowing full well that she could get up and leave anytime she wanted. The power of that made her light- headed with satisfaction, but she didn’t want to leave, didn’t want him to either. There and then, she prayed for him to stay. He had, and now she felt like a migrant bird tethered to a desert rock.

She jiggled her foot anxiously. Her stomach growled.

“See you later.” Riki kissed the back of her head.

Reba didn’t turn around.

The door opened and shut, and a cool draft of November air swept round her bare ankles. After his white- and- green US Customs and Border Protection pickup passed the front window, she pulled the cake from the shelf and to keep them perfectly symmetrical, she cut slivers from each of the three remaining pieces, then licked along the blade of the butter knife.

Midafternoon, Reba parked out front of Elsie’s German Bakery on Trawood Drive. The shop was smaller than she’d imagined. A carved wooden sign hung over the door: Bäckerei. The smell of yeasty breads and honey glazes hovered in the air despite the blustery wind sweeping round the Franklin Mountains. Reba pulled her jacket collar up under her chin. It was a chilly day for El Paso, a high of 63 degrees.

The bell over the bakery door chimed as a dark- haired woman and her son tottered out. The boy held a pretzel, studded with salt and half chewed. “But when can we have gingerbread?” he asked.

“After dinner.” She took his free hand.

“What’s for dinner?” The boy bit into the knotted middle.

“Menudo.” She shook her head. “Eat, eat, eat. That’s all you think about.” She pulled the boy past Reba. Sweet cinnamon and allspice clung to them. Reba marched into the shop, ready to finally get answers. A jazzy, bigband tune played overhead. A man reading the newspaper sat in the corner with a cup of coffee and a slice of stollen. A slim but sturdy woman with silver- blond hair worked deftly behind the display case, sliding a tray of crusty rolls into a basket.

“Jane! You put the sunflowers seeds in when I say to put caraway!” yelled someone from beyond the curtained doorway dividing the café from the kitchen.

“I’m with a customer, Mom,” Jane said. She pushed a graying bang behind her ear.

Reba recognized her Texan twang from the answering machine.

“What can I get you? This is the last batch of brötchen for today. It’s fresh.” She nodded to the basket.

“Thanks, but I— well, I’m Reba Adams.” She paused, but Jane showed no flicker of recognition. “I’ve left a few messages on your machine.”

Excerpted from The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy. Copyright © 2012 by Sarah McCoy. Excerpted by permission of Crown. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Certain Age
    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams
    Lovers of high-society gossip, there's a new set of players in town. A good 20 out of 23 of our...
  • Book Jacket: The Romanovs
    The Romanovs
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Romanovs chronicles the reigns of the 20 individuals who were considered members of that dynasty...
  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson

    "Starred Review. Sensitive, beautifully precise prose. Highly recommended." - PW

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Imperial Wife
    by Irina Reyn

    A smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!


Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!