Tuesday, October 20, 2009

158 - Baking Cakes in Kigali; Gail Parkin


Baking Cakes in Kigali, by Gaile Parkin, is a touching debut novel which takes place in present day Rwanda.

Angel Tugazara makes a living as a baker, selling beautiful cakes from her home.  In an area where AIDS and genocide have taken so many lives, sometimes, as Angel states, it is hard to find a reason for people to celebrate with a special cake.

Even Angel and her husband, Pius, have experienced the pain of loss. They are raising their five orphaned grandchildren. Still Angel has a special way of helping her customers to work through their sadness in any way she can; she even does a bit of matchmaking. In the process, Angel's customers  help her to deal with her own demons, and to find some peace in her life.

My thoughts: A very good debut novel, featuring a colorful cast of likable characters, with stories that will make you laugh, and maybe even cry. There is a story to be told by each of the customers that Angel prepares her lovely cakes for.  Although the story does acknowledge the the reality of Rwanda's past, it is also a story of hope which shows the reader how really resilient the human spirit can be, in spite of the hardships that may come our way.  RECOMMENDED


      (Review Copy received from Delacorte Press/ Shelf Awareness)

12 comments:

  1. I admit to not being a huge fan of this one when I read it earlier this year. I thought there was a lot of repetition of the word "eh," and a few other things that annoyed me. But it was an interesting way to see how every day life in Rwanda is, with AIDS an always-looming shadow.

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  2. This sounds like a wonderful book full of hope and I can't wait to read it.

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  3. I have this one to read too. After your review I need to move it up the tbr stack. It does sound interesting. Great review!

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  4. I've seen this one around but never really read about it. Dang, there goes another one on the tbr list. I will die an elderly woman with 338 books still on my tbr list!

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  5. I've heard such good things about this one! I think I'd really enjoy it too.

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  6. Yay, another fan! This is a treasure of a book.

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  7. I want to read this one!! Sounds interesting and I'm always looking for books told from a totally different perspective than mine!

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  8. this one is actually at the top on my TBR pile...I think I will start it tonight.

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  9. This is another one that I've been really wanting to read since I first heard about it. I am glad you liked it, Diane! Thanks for the great review.

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  10. I have been wanting to read this book for awhile now, and have read some really great reviews of it. I am really glad you liked it and will be ordering my copy soon! Thanks!

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  11. I have this ARC, but yet it's another one that hasn't made it into my hands. I'm whittling down my ARC pile, so hopefully I'll get to it soon. I really like the idea of stories.

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