Set in Central America and in middle Tennessee, Barry Kitterman’s debut novel gives us two intertwined  stories: In the first, Tanner Johnson, nearing midlife, has left his pregnant wife and taken a job as a baker, working nights, trying to avoid a shadowy presence that haunts him from the past. In the second, Tanner relives his painful experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Belize, where he taught at a boys’ reform school nearly a quarter century ago. Haunted by the past, he struggles to find the courage to accept his role as a husband and prospective father.

 
“You find out who you are in times of crisis. Almost always the discovery is not what you expected. The Baker’s Boy, like much of Joseph Conrad’s work, is about the pain of such revelation and its continuing effect on one’s life. A strong and haunting debut novel by a fine writer.”—Rick DeMarinis, author of The Year of the Zinc Penny


“In The Baker’s Boy Barry Kitterman gives us a haunting of the most universal kind: the ghost is a man’s mortal past, which tears through the veil of memory to demand a reckoning. Tanner, like all of us,  struggles to make a whole person out of his  broken parts, and how he succeeds makes for a touching read.”—Monica Wood, author of Any Bitter Thing

 

"Satisfying and well-written, this haunting debut novel will appeal to a wide variety of readers."  -  Library Journal

 

"The Baker's Boy is a compelling narrative laced with bits of magical realism and hints of Gabriel Garcia Marquez."  -  Randy Rudder, "Nashville Lifestyles"

 

"Kitterman’s Belize is real to the core, impoverished, and gritty. His descriptions of the New Hope School for Boys and those who live there are achy, sometimes funny, always able to hold the reader’s attention.  As the narration progresses, the book gains more and more momentum right up to its unexpected ending."  

-  Carp(e) Libris Reviews

 

"An excellent piece of fiction."  -  Bookviews