Marcy's Reviews > Baking Cakes in Kigali

Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin
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Dec 14, 11

Read in December, 2011

Angel is a baker of unusual cakes in Rwanda. That is the simple story. The more complicated stories, the heartfelt stories, are told to her by her clients, who describe their complicated lives that have been affected by war, Aids, unfaithfulness, etc. These are the stories that have shaped history, not only in Rwanda, but in other African nations. Angel is the listener, the solver of problems, the healer, and person who reflects upon what she hears in a way that tests her own beliefs.

Angel could be termed a modern woman who has had her own life tragedies, losing a son to a fatal shooting by a robber, but would have died anyway because of the AIDS virus. Her daughter died as well, and Angel and her husband have inherited the grandchildren, to raise as their own. Her baking affords them comfort in a new apartment with security. As a result of her loss, Angel becomes open-minded, vowing to help others in need. The lives inside the compound are diverse and interesting; all of the "secrets" and events in their lives come to the forefront in their conversations with Angel.

Angel also has a sense of humor; I found myself laughing in face of the harsh realities that were revealed, one by one in this story. I loved Baking Cakes in Kigali! It captured some of the light-hearted feeling I had reading The Ladies #1 Detective Series, but this book went much deeper. In the "simplicity" of conversation, there are harsh realities that made me stop and think about how devastating life is for so many!

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