A Bakery in Paris: A Novel
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.
Praise for A Bakery in Paris: A Novel
"Aimie K. Runyan whips up a feast of a novel, full of the warmth and heart characters give each other during two despairing periods of French history. Recipes for boulangerie classics remind us of the power of simple ingredients, artfully assembled. Lisette and Micheline walk their own unique paths to happiness, fighting for their independence and finding loves that support their true selves. As delicious and satisfying as a perfect cup of chocolat chaud." — Kerri Maher, international bestselling author of THE PARIS BOOKSELLER
"This captivating story is a tantalizing blend of history and culinary inspiration, weaving a poignant dual narrative that links two women to one Paris Bakery. From the pivotal moment of the Commune of Paris uprising to life in the aftermath of the world wars, Runyan provides a mouth-watering journey through French history with delicious baking recipes sprinkled throughout the narrative. This book is sure to satisfy your senses so don't miss out on this delicious read!" — Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author
"Two remarkably strong women—one under siege during the War of 1870 and the other struggling in the aftermath of WWII—both find strength and hope within the walls of a tiny Parisian bakery. With meticulous attention to rich historical detail, heartfelt characters and a page-turn tale that's peppered with recipes, Aimie Runyan has the perfect ingredients for a most satisfying work of historical fiction. " — Renee Rosen, USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces
"An often heart-wrenching and always heartfelt exploration of two difficult periods in French history and two courageous women who exemplify the lasting legacy of the human spirit. Baking is a science, literature is an art, and Aimie K. Runyan's A Bakery in Paris is an absolute treat for historical fiction fans!" — Gabriella Saab, author of Daughters of Victory
“A Bakery in Paris is a delicious novel that will have you hungering not only for French confections but to turn the next page. Set in two tumultuous wartime periods in Paris, Aimie K. Runyan weaves a spellbinding story of family, friendship, love, self-discovery, and power of healing through cooking. Connected through time by family recipes, Runyan will delight the senses of every reader, as they follow along the emotionally charged journeys of each endearing character.”
— Eliza Knight, USA Today bestselling author of STARRING ADELE ASTAIRE
“The School for German Brides is a fascinating deep-dive into the German home front during World War II. Aimie K. Runyan deftly paints the details of Nazi-run Berlin through the eyes of two lovable heroines destined to cross paths at one of the Fuhrer’s sinister Bride Schools: independent Hanna, fighting her engagement to a high-profile SS officer tooth and nail; and Tilde, a resourceful Jewish dressmaker struggling simply to survive. Moving, unsettling, unforgettable!” — Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Diamond Eye on The School for German Brides
“In The School for German Brides, Aimie Runyan has penned the thoughtful and original story of an SS officer’s bride and a young Jewish mother, whose lives collide in unexpected ways in World War II Germany. This is a moving and memorable tale of sisterhood, strength and survival, which will resonate deeply with readers of historical fiction.” — Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star on The School for German Brides
“The Stepford Wives meets The Alice Network in The School for German Brides. Aimie Runyan brilliantly evokes the sinister, gilded world of 1930’s Berlin—a world where young women are forcibly groomed to become perfect mates to men who hide their brutality behind toothy grins and perfectly pressed uniforms. It’s also a world where secret acts of feminine resistance flare beneath the surface, along with heart-tugging compassion and daring bravery. You won’t be able to put this one down.” — Kris Waldherr, author of The Lost History of Dreams and Unnatural Creatures on The School for German Brides
“Equal parts fascinating and horrifying, Runyan offers a riveting tale of love, loss, and survival not only of life but of the human spirit. Readers are dipped into a genteel world of young ladies, wooing suitors, satin dresses, and proper etiquette, but this world is a thin veneer for hatred and intolerance for anything less than perfect. Compelling from start to finish, this is Runyan's finest work yet.” — J’nell Ciesielski, author of The Ice Swan on The School for German Brides
“Tense and compelling, The School for German Brides tells the story of courageous young Hanna who becomes an unwilling pawn in a game of political chess when forced to marry a high-ranking Nazi official, and also of Rachel, a Jewish woman fleeing to save herself and the life of her unborn baby. Both characters are endearing and well-drawn, and the narrative is beautifully crafted—readers will need a tissue for the deeply moving end! In Runyan’s latest, she proves she’s at the top of her game.” — Heather Webb, USA Today bestselling author of The Next Ship Home and Last Christmas in Paris on The School for German Brides