Sari Lynn's Reviews > Baking Cakes in Kigali

Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin
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's review
Jul 22, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads
Recommended to Sari Lynn by: I'm a First Reads winner from Goodreads!
Recommended for: Book groups, anyone interested in Pan-African culture
Read in August, 2009

This book has a big heart, like the main character, Angel Tungaraza, a Tanzanian woman who is living in an international compound in Rwanda where her husband has a post at a University. She supplements her husband's income by baking cakes - fanciful and colorful, one-of-a-kind creations - and lending support to her friends, neighbors, and customers. Not only is she raising her five grandchildren, after the deaths of her son & daughter, Angel also acts as something of a surrogate mother to everyone around her. The book's characters deal with the horrible violence that took place in Rwanda, the AIDS epidemic, suicide, poverty, female genital mutilation, homosexuality, and prostitution, in a way that doesn't belittle any of it, but still manages to maintain a hopeful and humorous outlook on life. This book is an enjoyable as well as an eye-opening experience. It would be well suited to a book group discussion. I'm eagerly looking forward to Gaile Parkin's next work!

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