Baking Cakes in Kigali: A Novel by Gaile Parkin
On the library stacks: Adult fiction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Angel Tungaraza lives in the Rwandan city of Kigali with her husband and five grandchildren. Originally from Tanzania, the family lives in an apartment complex full of expats. Angel's husband works for the university, but others in the complex work for the UN, CIA, as volunteer aids, etc. Angel runs a business making cakes and becomes the focal point for the complex when people come to order cakes and end up sharing their joyful and heartbreaking stories.
The thing that I love about this book is that it takes some pretty hefty issues--AIDS, the Rwandan genocide, famine, suicide and prostitution--and combines them all into a story that is astonishingly upbeat and full of hope. There are some really funny parts and some really eye-opening and poignant parts to this novel. I liked how I was able to look at some issues in a new way.
Probably my only gripe about this book is that Angel is very reminiscent of Precious Ramotswe from "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency." Certainly if you like those books, you will like this one. But the similarities did bother me a little. Having said that, I really enjoyed this and would heartily recommend it.
Also reviewed by: The Book Nest ~ Your link here?
Source: Library Kindle Download
18 minutes ago