Book Review: Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin

February 27, 2012

“Baking Cakes in Kigali” by Gaile Parkin is a fictional story is about a woman named Angel Tungaraza, who herself is Tanzanian but is living in an International apartment complex in Rwanda due to her husband’s job. Angel and her husband are raising their five grandchildren after the lose of their children and are two people who are putting on a hopeful front for their sake.

  • 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN: 0385343442

My rating for Baking Cakes in Kigali – 5

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Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin (website) was charming as well as easy to read. The stories are interesting, the humanity amazing and, best of all, I really liked the character of Angel Tungaraza.

As many other people I know, the sum of my knowledge about Rwanda was the genocide a few years ago, I was expecting a distressing, if not upsetting novel and I got a triumphant and wonderful book. These everyday stories are amazing, even though they are told in a very relaxed manner (while order cakes for a celebration) they don’t sugar coat the horrible reality that many people in Africa live day-to-day. Not only the genocide, but also poverty, AIDS and other issues make an appearance.

Yet, the hopeful theme stays.

Angel bakes elaborate cakes in her home, she has a steady customer base as well as a name around her neighborhood which brings people to her doorstep. Each chapter is has Angel baking a special cake, the story around the cake and how it relates to the little stories in the neighborhood.

We all know women like Angel, pillars of their community which everyone goes to with their problems knowing they’ll be taken care of in a fair manner.

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through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account

Zohar – Man of La Book
Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from the local library.

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  • C.E. Hart February 28, 2012 at 9:57 am

    It isn’t very often that I hear of a book that has a truly unique plot. This is one. What a fascinating storyline. I’m putting this book on my TBR list.

    Thanks, Zohar!

  • Suzanne March 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I’ve had this book on my shelf forever. I must find time to read it soon.

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