Monday, July 20, 2009

review: Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin

genre: fiction
rating: 5/5

This beautiful African story, set in post-genocide Rwanda, is not only compellingly and simply told - but also touches on much of what makes us truly happy in life.

Angel is a Tanzanian living in Rwanda with her husband and the five grandchildren she's raising. Her claim to fame in the town of Kigali is her extraordinary and unique cakes. The process of designing the perfect cake for her customers lets her into their lives - they share their stories. Through these stories we see in many people a remarkable ability to adapt and to survive, to change and grow and find goodness wherever they are. We also see great depravity and horror as those who managed to live through the genocide begin to put heir lives and their country back together, with the help of people from many nations.

I loved so much about this book - I loved Angel's listening ear and her desire to look at things truthfully. I loved how the plot revolved around her cakes, those scrumptious creations designed for so many different reason and for so many different kinds of people. And the people! A cross section of humanity - UN workers, refugees, professors, volunteers, orphans, chauffeurs, stay-at-home moms and poor AIDS patients that are trying to gain skills to make a living. We meet so much of Africa and her people - as well as those from near and far who legitimately desire to help Rwanda come back to life. The educated and illiterate are living side by side - Hutus and Tutsis are choosing to look beyond their past to a larger-than-life future. I loved the depth of this charming story.

Read it.

8 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Oh my! You've made this sound marvelous - I can't wait to read it now.

Beth F said...

I only skimmed your review because I have this on my pile coming up soon. I'm so glad you liked it.

Anna said...

I've been waiting for a review of this one. Sounds like a powerful book.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Thoughts of Joy said...

Thanks for the encouraging words! I have it on my TBR Shelf and now I'm a bit more excited about it. :)

Veens said...

I so wish I could get my hands on this one! You make it sound so delicious :D

wordlily said...

I'm with Veens. Really want to get my hands on this one.

erin sheely said...

Do you own this one? I want to rrrreeeaadddd it.

book review help said...

well your Po$t is good and i really like it :). . .awesome WORK . . .KEEP SHARING. .;)
book review help

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