60 Africa Books Reading Challenge discussion

Baking Cakes in Kigali
This topic is about Baking Cakes in Kigali
East Africa > Rwanda

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message 1: by Cara (new)

Cara Sullivan | 11 comments Mod
This book didn't place it's focus on the horrific events of Rwanda's past but rather on the daily joys and dramas of everyday life - as viewed through the eyes of a local baker Angel Tungaraza. Through her eyes, the readers could witness the issues affecting people's daily lives. The book described the mixed community of expats, volunteers, immigrants and native Rwandans. I enjoyed the discovery of many new characters and how they fit into this society. There were moments when the impact of AIDS, genital mutilation and genocide was explored within the characters stories. It was through their eyes that nuanced feelings about these complex issues was explained to the reader.

The characters that I keep thinking about are Captain Calixte, Jeanne d'Arc and Francoise. They endured unimaginable loss and desperate circumstances. Despite their past, used their own strategies to find the best solution for how to make the best of their future - for them or their families. The strength and terror I felt from their stories is hard to forget.

message 2: by Claudia (new)

Claudia G | 7 comments I enjoyed reading facts of customs and descriptions of foods in Tanzania and Rwanda (being neighboring countries). Tanzanian tea sounded wonderful and comforting served with boiled milk, plenty of sugar and cardamom. It was mentioned quite often when stressful situations came about.

In Rwanda a son is more favored (in this novel's portrayal at least) and so when a girl was born she was named good enough. Angel, the main character is Tanzanian, she suggested the girl be name Perfect instead (as women are considered of equal value in Tanzania).

In this story you did get an insight into the horror that happened in Rwanda. I was very interested in the flags of the countries and the meaning of their colors. It would truly be an exciting experience to see the gorillas in the mountains! Every gorilla has a different nose print. Each chapter had some point to make, providing a new insight into life in Kigali. So nice to read about traveling in a Land Rover - oh I would love to take a trip there and do that!

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