Stephen is the author of three novels and two books of nonfiction.
The Baker's Secret
On the eve of D-Day, a clever young French girl in occupied Normandy is determined to keep herself and her fellow villagers alive -- a task that requires nimble fingers, a strong back, and all of her cunning.
Nothing is more audacious or more inspiring than the human spirit, as we see in Stephen Kiernan's luminous new novel, The Baker's Secret. With painterly precision and great heart, Kiernan gives us an intimate view of a small French village forced to endure the soul-stifling humiliations of German occupation, and Emma, the young baker and consummate survivor whose boldness and ingenuity help keep her village alive as they pray the Allies will make good on their promise of rescue. Emma is an unforgettable heroine, and Kiernan's novel will have you weeping, and then cheering. A tale beautifully, wisely, and masterfully told. ―Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
Focusing on a momentous occasion--D-Day, June 6, 1944--The Baker's Secret makes the moment personal, particular and vivid. Almost crushed by Nazi occupation, French villagers have no way of knowing that liberation is eminent or of its monumental cost in American and British life. This novel transcends even a critical moment in history to suggest the human condition of ignorance of the future and the necessity of hope, courage, and unselfish sacrifice. --Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife and Four Spirits
The Baker's Secret is that rare novel that restores a belief in humankind, and reminds readers that quiet heroes often walk among us. -- Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books
Starred reviews in Booklist and Library Journal
Deborah Birch, an experienced hospice nurse, finds her caretaking skills tested to the utmost when her husband Michael returns from his 3rd deployment in Iraq. Her primary patient at the time, the curmudgeon Barclay Reed, knows a story from World War II that might help her husband to heal.
"I'm not sure I've ever read a novel that so poignantly depicts the brevity of life, the significance of each moment, the impact we have on one another." -- Mary Morris, author of The Jazz Palace
Dr. Kate Philo works at an experimental lab that has brought frozen krill and shrimp back to life. But no one is prepared for the consequences when the lab attempts to awaken a frozen man, found in Arctic ice: a media frenzy, religious protests, and a high stakes debate over the ethics of science when it tries to overcome mortality.
"As thought-provoking and powerful as Flowers for Algernon, and the writing is breaktakingly beautiful." -- Chris Bohjalian, author of The Sleepwalker
Too many patients today suffer needlessly at the end of their lives, invaded by excessive machinery, unjustified interventions and futile treatments. There is a better way -- through the dignified, humane, compassionate models of hospice and palliative care. This book reveals the problem and shows a loving way forward.
"Last Rights is to end-of-life care today what Nader's 'Unsafe at Any Speed' was to car safety in the 1960s" -- Ira Byock MD, author of Dying Well and The Four Things That Matter Most
If you measure by hunger, homelessness, social isolation or civic involvement, America is in worse shape than most people know. Government is too broke and polarized to fix things, and the free market rewards wealth first. Yet this book tells the stories of people who are solving the hardest problems, through volunteerism and civic engagement, by making the well-being of the nation their business.
"Authentic Patriotism is the story of people whom you have never heard of, but who are most responsible for the greatness of America." -- Gov. Howard Dean MD