If you like reading about the Holocaust, this book is good. I've always been affected by literature on this topic, and this book was no different. I was deeply impacted by the vivid descriptions and the bleak atmosphere was thoroughly crafted.
If you're familiar with Picoult's work, you know that she flips back and forth between characters consistently throughout her stories. For this book, I'd say that she wisely adjusts her formula to give this heavy topic room to breathe and develop. The first and last fifths of the book set up and "conclude" the characters' modern day storyline. The middle three-fifths is almost exclusively set in the past: a flashback to the Holocaust.
Understandably, Picoult's personal writing style takes a bit of a backseat. It's hard to take ownership of a plot that consists mostly of the Holocaust. That's probably my biggest criticism: the bracketing story (i.e. The beginning and end; everything outside of the flashback to the Holocaust) was really peripheral. I liked the characters and was drawn to the story at the beginning, but following the middle chunk of gritty and heavy details about surviving in concentration camps, the ending, which consisted of all the peripheral modern day characters, no longer seemed necessary. The end didn't make that much sense to me and it left me feeling very conflicted about what was right or wrong. Maybe that was the intention.
However, as a whole, I really appreciated the way baking bread (the main character's profession) was incorporated at all stages of the book. It was one of my Picoult's more successful marrying of topics, more seamless than the wolf facts in her last book Lone Wolf
I enjoyed the book, mostly due to the subject matter, and the semi-unnecessary parts of the peripheral storyline aside, I think Picoult did a good job crafting a story around such a prolific event.