Bread for the Baker's Child: A Novel

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Sarabande Books, 2002 - Fiction - 184 pages
1 Review

After nearly ten years, Joseph Caldwell returns to the literary scene with a rich novel of immense and resonant scope. With Dostoevskyian ambition, "Bread for the Baker's Child" sets out to probe the large questions of good and evil, culpability and sacrifice, and the meaning of suffering.

In this tale of two lives immutably intertwined, Sister Rachel is a nun in a failing order, a painter with a history of madness, devoted to her dying Mother General. Her brother Phillip is an accountant serving time for embezzlement, a man capable of great violence and anger who has turned his back not simply on the church, but faith as well. They have nothing in common except for a shared childhood tragedy.

Or do they? In this masterful display of structural precision, Caldwell slowly unravels the complementary nature of these two lives--at first glance hermetically sealed from one another--until their shared fate becomes a symbiotic relationship, as though they were two sides of the same coin, intersecting and reflecting one another. Through events operatic in tone and reach, Rachel and Phillip come to redefine our notions of love and kinship, and embody the human need for redemption and forgiveness.

Marketing plans for "Bread for the Baker's Child"
- Author tour in Northeast area (New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C.).
- Newsletter, brochure, catalog, and postcard mailings.
- Advertisements in key literary and trade magazines.

Playwright and novelist, Joseph Caldwell is the author of four previous novels, "The Uncle From Rome," "Under the Dog Star," "The Deer at the River," and" In Such Dark Places." He twice held the John Golden Fellowship in Playwriting at Yale University's School of Drama, and was awarded The Rome Prize in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York City.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

In this haunting, emotionally turbulent tale from playwright and novelist Caldwell (The Uncle from Rome, 1992, etc.), an imprisoned embezzler and a traumatized nun, brother and sister, reach across a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - richardderus - LibraryThing

Very well-written, but the story seems so slight to be made into such a beautiful artwork. Caldwell's undeniable gift for language needs a stronger spine to stand up to his words. Read full review

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