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Friendship Cake (Hope Springs #1)

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  1,040 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
“I would welcome a friendship with Lynne Hinton. I would welcome an invitation to sit down at her table, but mostly I would welcome her next book.”
—Maya Angelou


Lynne Hinton’s beloved bestselling classic, Friendship Cake, is a beautiful, poignant, and funny novel of five small-town women friends that offers inspiring life lessons in faith, love, strength, survival, and com
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 3rd 2009 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30)
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jun 22, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing
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 07, 2010 Christine rated it really liked it
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 06, 2012 Sherri rated it it was amazing
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
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.
May 28, 2009 Elaine rated it really liked it
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.

Feb 12, 2008 Christi rated it really liked it
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 29, 2012 Jena rated it really liked it
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
Nov 30, 2009 Cathy Serpico rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 04, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it
Loved this book so much. It's like a cross between "Steel Magnolias" and "The Help."
Nov 10, 2010 Carolyn rated it liked it
Good story on friendship by more "new age" and "tolerant" than I agree with for a group of "church" women.
Sep 25, 2011 Jessie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!
May 01, 2012 Faith rated it really liked it
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.
May 06, 2011 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.
Tara J. Vargo
Feb 26, 2017 Tara J. Vargo rated it did not like it
I did not like this book at all; it was a struggle to even finish it. The story focuses on four ladies of the Hope Springs Community Church in North Carolina. They start out as members of the same church committee (making a church cookbook) who don't always get along, but end up becoming the best of friends. I'm supposed to believe that even though these 4 ladies have attended the same small church for most of their lives, they never were that close or really knew each other. It takes this cookb ...more
Sep 18, 2016 Gwenette rated it liked it
I picked this up at a thrift store and finished it in two days. It was a sweet story (no pun intended), and I would read other books by this author. One of the characters is a female minister, and the other characters are members of the church's cookbook committee. The author did a good job of spelling out each character's personality and wrapping up the storylines.
Georgia Herod
Jun 18, 2016 Georgia Herod rated it really liked it
I completely agree with Maya Angelou's comments about being Hinton's friend, sitting at her table, and awaiting her next book.
An easy read, light in some ways, but with deep themes, this book is a celebration of women, faith, friendship, and delicious Southern food. Five women from Hope Springs Community Church in NC form a committee (the first clue that this will unfold without difficulty!) to create a church cookbook. While outwardly the project and product brings them together, the process
Dec 30, 2014 Pat rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 08, 2014 Louise rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 11, 2009 Melissa rated it liked it
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
Dec 09, 2009 Wanda rated it it was amazing
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
May 17, 2013 Bethany rated it really liked it
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
Kat Pennylegion
Apr 03, 2016 Kat Pennylegion rated it liked it
I liked this book. It took me a while to get into it because the first several chapters seem to be about just one person (each chapter) in the town, so it didn't feel like it really had a consistent story. But then the characters started to weave together, and the story came out for the second half of the book. I actually went back and re-read the first five chapters once I knew more about the 5 main characters, and I picked up a lot more information that I didn't really notice the first time. C ...more
Jul 11, 2013 Leonel rated it liked it
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
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
Aug 07, 2015 Katie rated it it was ok
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
Jan 11, 2011 Tama rated it liked it
Lucky me, I wanted to read "Forever Friends" but it is part of a series. As I looked through the series online one of the titles looked familiar to me (this one) and I found it on my bookshelf - wonderful! So I will start this book tonight.

What a sweet book - I really like reading about local places. I always get giddy when I hear of places in a book where I have actually lived or visited. The story and recipes were nice.
Dec 22, 2011 Angie rated it liked it
A story in a style similar to Angry Housewives Eating BonBons but with a group of older women. Strong religious theme throughout, but not preachy. Dealt with so many hot/emotional topics piled one right after another that it really doesn't give the reader a chance to experience any kind of thought-provoking moments, or at least very few. I do think the main characters were pretty well developed as individuals, although a few were a bit stereotypical. Overall a quick, feel-good type read.
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.
Debra Hale-Shelton
Oct 02, 2007 Debra Hale-Shelton rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: liberal fans of the Mitford books
I read this looking for another Mitford - type book and for the food aspects. Overall, I enjoyed it, but I was disappointed. The book is a more liberal religion-oriented book than the Mitford series, which I dearly love. It's been a while, but I believe there were some pretty good recipes in Hinton's easy-to-read book. Somehow, her characters just didn't draw me in as Jan Karon's Mitford cast did over the years. Still, I do not regret having read this book.
Sep 14, 2008 Ruth rated it really liked it
this little book surprised me. it was quite poignant and delved into some thorny issues such as interracial marriage and the loss of a child and dealing with the chronic disease of a loved one. i did enjoy reading it although I did get the characters mixed up but that seems to be a trend for ME no matter what book i'm reading..
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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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