Day 83 – The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel
This dual timeline WWII/contemporary family saga came slightly before those things became a huge thing, yet this one remains a favorite.
I love the way Harmel tells this story, which is about Hope, who is dealing with her husband’s abandonment and her beloved grandmother Marnie’s encroaching Alzheimer’s, while trying to keep the family bakery alive.
Along the way she learns that her grandmother has secrets, and realizes that she doesn’t want to die without her granddaughter understanding some of them.
It’s a journey of that will unexpectedly take her to Paris, and will offer discovery and rejuvenation. It will unlock long-buried secrets that lead to new understandings of what it means to be brave, open-hearted and broken-hearted, but also brings the message that love of all kinds makes us stronger and acting from love always makes us better.
She also illuminates how both Christians and Muslims acted together to try to save Jews as they were being rounded up in Paris by the Nazis, which is not a piece of history I’d encountered before.
A lovely, beautiful, thought-provoking book I hope you’ll pick up.
The Sweetness of Forgetting
A baker in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, must travel to Paris to uncover a family secret for her dying grandmother—and what she learns may change everything. The Sweetness of Forgetting is the book that made Kristin Harmel an international bestseller.
At thirty-six, Hope McKenna-Smith is no stranger to bad news. She lost her mother to cancer, her husband left her for a twenty-two year old, and her bank account is nearly depleted. Her own dreams of becoming a lawyer long gone, she’s running a failing family bakery on Cape Cod and raising a troubled preteen.
Now, Hope’s beloved French-born grandmother Mamie, who wowed the Cape with her fabulous pastries for more than fifty years, is drifting away into a haze of Alzheimer’s. But in a rare moment of clarity, Mamie realizes that unless she tells Hope about the past, the secrets she has held on to for so many years will soon be lost forever. Tantalizingly, she reveals mysterious snippets of a tragic history in Paris. And then, arming her with a scrawled list of names, she sends Hope to France to uncover a seventy-year-old mystery.
Hope’s emotional journey takes her through the bakeries of Paris and three religious traditions, all guided by Mamie’s fairy tales and the sweet tastes of home. As Hope pieces together her family’s history, she finds horrific Holocaust stories mixed with powerful testimonies of her family’s will to survive in a world gone mad. And to reunite two lovers torn apart by terror, all she’ll need is a dash of courage, and the belief that God exists everywhere, even in cake…
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The Sweetness of Forgetting – amzn.to/2YPp584
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