Morally fraught historical events can lead to compulsion to wonder, "What would I have done in those circumstances?" Vermont writer Stephen Kiernan's new novel, The Baker's Secret, unspools the transformation of its heroine Emma from a normal teenager to a clever, but desperate, survivor of German occupation.
Emma's talent for baking puts her in proximity to occupying soldiers and helps her develop an intricate web of bartering that keeps her hungry neighbors fed throughout the occupation.
Kiernan spoke with Vermont Edition about how his new novel explores pragmatism, cunning and faith in the civilian experience of World War II on the eve of D-Day.
Listen to the interview above. A condensed version of the interview was broadcast on Vermont Edition on Wednesday, June 14, 2017; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.