“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.”
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 community—as well as a host of delicious Southern recipes! A heartwarming delight reminiscent of Jan Karon’s New York Times bestselling Mitford books, Friendship Cake, in the words of Rita Mae Brown (Rubyfruit Jungle), “will give you plenty to chew over. Delicious!”
How many Southern women does it take to put together a cookbook? Five, in Hinton's sincere but frothy debut novel, in which several female congregants of the appropriately named Hope Springs Community Church in North Carolina decide to create a cookbook; each has her own special recipe to share and a story to tell. On the cookbook committee are pragmatic Margaret, whose down-home wisdom makes her the community confidant; 63-year-old Louise, nursing the unrequited love of her life, another woman, through Alzheimer's; Beatrice, with a finger in everyone else's pie; Jessie, the only black woman in the all-white congregation; and Reverend Charlotte Stewart, their first woman preacher. The project originates as a form of female bonding through food, but as the committee holds meetings to review their progress, a lot more is stirred up than soups and stews. Also on the table are death and sex, friendship and love. The characters introduce themselves in the opening chapters, and their voices are like a potluck dinner, unsophisticated and oddly comforting. Hinton, herself a North Carolina pastor, successfully endows Charlotte with all of the self-doubts that a cleric might feel facing her first congregation. Mostly, though, this is thin fare, with complex issues like interracial marriage and the tragic death of a child resolved by one easy remedy: love. There are 17 recipes included, but these are also pretty basic--banana pudding, relish, grits--leaving readers to wish there were something as satisfying as fried green tomatoes on the menu. FYI: A portion of the proceeds will go to Hospice of Alamance-Caswell Counties.