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Friendship Cake: A Novel (Hope Springs #1)

3.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  927 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
Here in the country, women grew up learning to cook before they were tall enough to reach the stove. It was the mother's and the grandmother's responsibility to make sure all the girls in the family could make a meal out of one strip of meat and a cup of beans. So we learned to cook. And we learned to be creative. We learned how to stretch dough across two weeks at three
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 26th 2000 by HarperOne (first published 2000)
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jun 22, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Looking for a Sweet, Light Feelgood Story of Friendship Among Women
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
OK, I feel like a sap for loving this so much, but I confess I did. And goodness, I have to give props for a book so moving it made me cry--more than once.

I give you fair warning. This is friendship cake indeed. Light and sweet enough to carry a label cautioning you about cavities and diabetic shock. A novel about five women: a young pastor of a Christian church in North Carolina and four of her elderly parishioners in a graying congregation. We get to know each in turn in the five introductory
Jan 08, 2010 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from a wonderful friend for Christmas, and read it today - the perfect "I'm sick and feel yukky so need a brain candy" book!
Seeming like a Mitford book with an apparent light theme, the book actually went into some heavier areas. It touched on the themes of homosexuality, alzheimers, interracial marriages and of course, friendship and all that it entails and means. A group of older women begin their relationship acrimoneously, yet through an autumn filled with major events
Jul 11, 2012 Sherri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I viewed this book before I read it as a pleasant, light read for the summer. Was I ever wrong! It is an amazing book. I highly recommend all women to read it. It reads easy and fast, but it is an intense story about women's friendships in a small town. Twice I found myself in tears over this book. And then there was laughter as well. I loved it. Lynne Hinton, was able to do so much in such a small book. Can't wait to read the rest in the series. READ IT!
Mar 19, 2010 Rosemary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
eh! I survived it. I was awake at the end. I was suppose to fall in love with the characters I do not know why I didn't. This si a series of books I think there is at least four, me being me read the second one thinking it was me but hey you like what you like.
Jul 09, 2010 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many narrating characters

A poignant story of a handful of women who meet regularly to discuss a cookbook they're putting together, gathering recipes from the church members, young and old alike.

We meet Louise who has never been married and is taking care of a long-time friend with Alzheimer's. Louise is not afraid to speak her mind, upsetting people along the way.

Margaret is widowed. She and her late husband Luther never had children. The young women in the community go to her for advice.

Mar 08, 2008 Christi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007-reads
I thought this would be just a quick "cozy" read actually touched on topics I wouldn't have expected: homosexuality, divorce, Alzheimers, alcoholism, teen pregnancy, racism...

What was especially nice was that there was no "7th Heaven-esque" resolution at the end where everyone agreed and believed the same things. Instead, like most friends, they agreed to disagree and to support and love each other.

The change in viewpoint from 1st person of the main characters for the first introductory chapters
Apr 08, 2014 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction
My Review:
HarperCollins|March 21, 2002|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-06-251731-9
When five women from the Hope Springs Community Church in North Carolina form a committee to create a church cookbook, they embark on a project much more meaningful than they could have ever imagined. As novice pastor Charlotte Stewart, no-nonsense Margaret Peele, maverick Louise Fisher, steadfast Jessie Jenkins, and busybody Beatrice Newgarden meet to share recipes, they begin to open their lives and hearts as well.
A heartwarming and poignant story about five very different women who form a lasting bond of friendship as they work together to create a cookbook. The story will make you laugh, and cry, and most of all, appreciate your friends. There are several delicious Southern recipes included, but this book gets five stars for the "real friendship cake" recipe!
Cathy Serpico
Dec 22, 2009 Cathy Serpico rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised at how much I ended up enjoying this book, thinking that the spiritual themes would be a turn-off. If anything they were more meditative than religious, and this turned out to be a sweet easy read about the women of Hope Springs and the unlikely friendship that blooms among strong personalities.
Jul 06, 2015 Dawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys books about women friendships.
Recommended to Dawn by: Caught my eye in the bookstore.
I remember really enjoying this book and liking the characters. This was the first book in a series and it was my favorite of them.
May 01, 2012 Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Very sweet, kinda funny and a little bit sad. A lovely, easy-going read. Liked it enough to read the rest of the trilogy.
Sep 25, 2011 Jessie rated it it was amazing
So far I think that this is a cute book.
I actually thought that this was an Amazing book. I can not wait to read the next one!!
Good story on friendship by more "new age" and "tolerant" than I agree with for a group of "church" women.
Aug 14, 2015 Pat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in 2 days. I am stuck in bed with a broken ankle but this is exactly the kind of book that should be read in this circumstance. The story of a small group of women of various ages, and backgrounds, and how they come to be more than aquaintainences. They become actual friends. Most of us who will be honest, will admit that women can be horrible to each other. Backbiting. Sarcastic. Hateful. Mean. Vindictive. You get my point. And this happens all the time. And truly, I don't know ...more
Aug 17, 2015 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The ladies of Hope springs church want to publish a cookbook, and in turn build friendships. This book is a light read, and a little cheesy at times. Every woman in the group has some part of her life frowned upon by the church, but yet most of these "issues" aren't explored very deeply.

Honestly, I really just couldn't get into this book. The characters didn't grab me. This book is first in a series, but I won't plan to pick up the others. Overall, I wanted to love this book....cake, friendship
A book about female friendships and relationships. The characters are interesting and diverse. The story does draw on some pretty varied and adult topics (homosexualitiy, failed marriages, premarital pregnancy, death, etc.) that the characters face, but I didn't feel like it did it in a racy way. Just a, "Hey, this stuff happens to real people" sort of way. Not the most stunning book I've read as of late, but still pretty good.
Aug 16, 2015 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet story, reminiscent of Jan Karon’s “Mitford” series, about a group of women in a small town in North Carolina, strengthening the bonds of their friendship as they work together to create a church cookbook. Although the plot may seem trite, author Lynn Hinton, herself a pastor, offers thoughtful wisdom about women’s life and the importance of friendship.
James N. Moon
Sep 12, 2015 James N. Moon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book!

Enjoyed this book - liked the theme of friends and recipes. This was well written, dealt with real life situations in a real life way. This was not cloying, but showed how friendship can develop from acquaintance to something much deeper if given a chance. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
I set out to read The Friendship Cake after learning that The Christmas Cake, a book I won and read earlier in the month, was actually book four in the Hope Springs series. I wanted to know what started these women on their journey together as friends.

The Friendship Cake was another easy read, yet also lightly touched with tougher topics like homosexuality, Alzheimer's, teenage pregnancy, the death of a child, race issues, and marital problems. Lynne Hinton's writing itself is average, but she
Donna Orazio
An easy, enjoyable read but raises questions worth considering
Strength of women and the power of female friendship shown

Love the recipes -- when my bookclub discussed this book, the dessert was a cake from the book.

Book Club read
Dec 09, 2009 Wanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational
Hope Springs Community Church Women's Guild needs a project to boost its declining membership. It is decided to compile a Church cookbook and a committee of five women (including the young, female minister) are selected. From here, the story relates not only the problems in getting the recipes but also the relationships between these women and their families. All the emotional range is present from a faith-questioning moment to death of a loved one, reuniting of an estranged daughter and mother, ...more
Jul 11, 2013 Leonel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lynne Hinton's "Friendship Cake" is inoffensive, and sappy. There's nothing wrong with that, for sure. It was a little too soap opera-ish for me - there were non stop tragedies and crying scenes that seems excessive, when I look back at it. Could this be a Southern gothic thing that I am not getting? Even though there is an undercurrent of a religious theme, it explores a (tame) same sex relationship, which I kind of appreciated. I didn't dislike the book, but I wasn't jumping and up and down wh ...more
Apr 17, 2015 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
We read this in my reading group. And something broke within me. OMFSM, this book. So sweet. So sentimental. So absolutely not written for me.
May 18, 2013 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Initially, I thought this book may be a little confusing, since 5+ main characters is a little too many to remember. I was pleasently suprised that each character was distinct and the author did a good job to help the reader remember some of the less important characters. This book is a good one if you want a quick book to read, or don't feel good and want to curl up on the couch. It is probably not a book you will remember reading in a couple years, but not every book needs to be that way. It i ...more
Jonna Smith
Feb 17, 2015 Jonna Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read! Short so fast. Could not give more stars because it was so light but did have some friendship perspective. Very enjoyable so do pu for a quick read!
Dundee Library
Readers who enjoy the gentleness of Sparks' stories, the small towns with closely knit families and friends involved in day-to-day dramas over the heart-tugging plots might enjoy Friendship Cake, the first in a trilogy, by Lynne Hinton. In Hope Springs, North Carolina, five women come together to publish a church cookbook. While collecting recipes they will become better friends as they learn each other's fears and weaknesses and help each other through them. Full of folksy spirituality and funn ...more
Dec 08, 2015 Elarue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It tells stories that approach complex issues with spontaneity and grace. Made my heart warm.
Women working on a church cookbook. Great story of grace, getting along, working together.
Sue Maryon
Aug 21, 2014 Sue Maryon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was a great story of how friends stick together. l laughed and cried. Great beach read.
Tricia Decarolis
Aug 22, 2015 Tricia Decarolis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After the first few chapters, I realized this was not my type of book.
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Lynne Hinton is the pastor of St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The author of numerous novels including Friendship Cake, Hope Springs, Forever Friends, Christmas Cake, and Wedding Cake, she lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
More about Lynne Hinton...

Other Books in the Series

Hope Springs (5 books)
  • Hope Springs (Hope Springs #2)
  • Forever Friends (Hope Springs #3)
  • Christmas Cake
  • Wedding Cake

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