The Summer 2012 Reading Guide

Whether you're a 50 Shades kind of girl or prefer something with a touch of Jane Austen in your beach bag, these page-turners will keep you in good company for the duration of summer.

By Ashley Ross

June 18, 2012 2:00 PM
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The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel

Hope, a divorced mother who runs a bakery on Cape Cod, reconnects with her grandmother, whose onset of Alzheimer's spurs the revelation of a family secret about the Holocaust.

AUTHOR DISH

Baking seems like a main theme in this book.
I love that the main character's family history is tied into things she's been baking but she doesn't know about it. I did a few trips to Paris for research, which were fabulous trips because I was basically buying and tasting pastries.

How did you tap into the emotions of life after divorce?
I am a child from a divorced family so I've spent many years thinking about it. But when I sat down to write about a character who was divorced, I think I drew from conversations I had with divorced people.

Where did the Holocaust come into play for the story?
I didn't find out until I was 20 that my dad was half Jewish. And years ago, I was writing a story for People about Give Kids the World, an organization for sick children led by a Holocaust survivor who was in a concentration camp from ages 13 to 18. He felt like his childhood was being stolen from him so he wanted to give sick children their childhoods back.

You say this is a book you've always wanted to write.
Yes, I started writing chick lit when chick lit was at its height and I was only 24 but, you know, now I'm 33 so this sort of mainstream, commercial women’s fiction is where my heart lies. It's hard to break out once you've had four books published in one genre.

The Sweetness of Forgetting will be published August 7.

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