“All the sun and magic of Africa are baked into Gaile Parkin’s debut novel. . . . We peek into a warm and practical community as colorful as [the heroine’s] dazzling confections.”—The Christian Science Monitor
This soaring novel introduces us to Angel Tungaraza: mother, cake baker, pillar of her community, keeper of secrets big and small. Angel’s kitchen is an oasis in the heart of Rwanda, where visitors stop to order cakes but end up sharing their stories, transforming their lives, leaving with new hope. In this vibrant, powerful setting, unexpected things are beginning to happen: A most unusual wedding is planned, a heartbreaking mystery involving Angel’s own family unravels, and extraordinary connections are made—as a chain of events unfolds that will change Angel’s life and the lives of those around her in the most astonishing ways.
BONUS: This edition contains a Baking Cakes in Kigali discussion guide.
Praise for Baking Cakes in Kigali
“Everyone needs a neighbor like Angel Tungaraza . . . whose warmth and coolheaded cleverness might remind some readers of Precious Ramotswe from the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Remarkable . . . a powerful, thought-provoking work . . . filled with heartbreak but also with hope.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Sweet and satisfying . . . gently draws readers into the daily rhythms of African life . . . Compassion and wisdom light up each page.”—Ventura County Star
“Will leave you feeling well satisfied.”—O: The Oprah Magazine (South Africa)
Set in an international apartment complex in Rwanda, Parkin's appealing but overstuffed debut throws together university professors, U.N. employees and CIA agents among a panoply of traditions and cultures. Heroine Angel Tungararza has moved from Tanzania with her husband, Pius, who's taken a job at the local university; before long, she develops a reputation as a masterful baker and a sagacious friend. Though haunted by the deaths of her grown daughter and son, Angel plunges back into motherhood, caring for her five grandchildren, tending to Pius, baking cakes and dispensing advice. Meanwhile, the sour undercurrents of AIDS and genocide play quiet but instrumental parts in shaping Angel's world. In Parkin's eagerness to introduce a rainbow of cultures and personalities, she crowds her enjoyable but terminally dedicated heroine, forcing Angel to take a saccharine supporting role in her own story; almost simultaneously, she's soothing survivors of Rwandan genocide, reconciling a local prostitute and her client, and serving as an honorary mother-of-the-bride.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Surprisingly good read
Loved loved loved this book. Found the beginning slow, but it was well worth reading all the way. Ive read it twice now, and am about to read it a third time.