Friday, August 4, 2023

Book Review for A Bakery in Paris by Aimie K. Runyan

 A Bakery in Paris by Aimie K. Runyan

Publication August 1, 2023

Genre:  Historical Fiction, WWII, 19th Century


Taken from Goodreads:  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, Th
eodore 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.

My Thoughts:  I could not stop reading A Bakery in Paris.  Ask me which timeline is my favorite and I would not be able to make that choice.   In 1870, Lisette is living her privileged life, when her eyes are opened after making a trip to find groceries her entire world changes.   In 1946 Micheline is left to raise her two young sisters while she is still so young herself.   Their lives could not be more different, but the bakery ties them together.  Both young women have amazing baking talents and use those talents to not only feed themselves but also feed those around them. 

 Aimie K. Runyan wrote a book not only of war but of love, family, friendships, and hardships.   Both women showed their true strengths and grit in a time when nothing was easy.   I felt like I was enjoying every bakery treat that Paris has to offer as I traveled through this book.  I love that the recipes that Lisette used in 1870 were still used by her great-granddaughter in 1946. 

 Thank you William Morrow for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

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Meet Aimie K Runyan  (Taken from her website):
 From even my earliest years, I loved jotting down stories and really, really bad poetry. I dabbled in the world of the short story for a long time, until I finally sat down one fateful February day and decided that my beloved short story, “Days of Plenty” deserved to become a novel. I felt (and feel) it was a story the world needed to hear. More importantly, I knew that after thirty-three years of life, seven years of marriage, and two children, I finally had the life experience to tell it. Thus, Promised to the Crown was born.

Since Promised, and its little sister Duty to the Crown, I’ve moved forward in time. Daughters of the Night Sky was a complete departure from my earlier works, but the stories of the long-forgotten female pilots on the Russian front in World War Two deserved to be told. Girls on the Line, the story of the intrepid women who served as phone operators in World War One was another story I was thrilled to bring to the page. Ruby remains one of my favorite heroines. My subsequent novels, Across the Winding River and The School for German Brides largely delve into the personal nature of war and the people who are forever changed by it.

I am also thrilled to be moving into contemporary fiction in the near future. My upcoming novel, The Memory of Lavender and Sage, set in the lush hillsides of Provence, explores the life of Tempeste Luddington, unmoored after the death of her father. She seeks out her purpose in the small village of Sainte Colombe where her mother was raised. Along the way, she learns some shocking truths about her mother’s past…and herself. Delving into the emotionally-charged world of Women’s Fiction is a challenge I am so excited to undertake. I hope to create vibrant characters, lush settings, and heartwarming dramas that will transport the reader to a different place. Consider it “Virtual Vacation Fiction”.

Before transitioning to full time writing, I taught French to high schoolers, with occasional stints into English, Public Speaking, and Competitive Forensics. When I’m not writing or wrangling my wayward kiddos, I enjoy hiking, baking, sewing (especially costumes), music (especially live), theater, movies, and all things sacred unto Nerd Culture.

I’m proud to be a member of the Tall Poppy Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Pikes Peak Writers, and the Women’s Fictions Writers Association.







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