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When Hoopoes Go To Heaven

When Hoopoes Go To Heaven [Kindle Edition]

Gaile Parkin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Product Description


"* 'With gentle humour and a gift for detail, [Gaile Parkin] brings Rwanda to life, with its physical beauty, food and customs... [Baking Cakes in Kigali] is fluent and deeply moving' - Independent * 'With a lightness of touch, and a cast as colourful as one of Angel's cakes, debut novelist Parkin deftly uncovers the joys and sorrows of the survivors. Fans of Precious Ramotswe will love this' - Marie Claire"

Product Description

Ten-year-old Benedict is feeling happy. His family's new home in Swaziland has the most beautiful garden in the whole entire world, teeming with insects, frogs and his favourite cinnamon-coloured birds. Here, crouched in the cool shade of the lucky-bean tree, it's easy to forget the loneliness that comes from his siblings playing without him, easy to stop himself fretting about how to fix his Mama's failing cake-baking business.

Of course, there are many things in Africa that cannot be put right by a boy who isn't yet big. But in Benedict's wonder-filled world, even the ugliest situation has a certain magic. Warm, funny and brimming with life, Where Hoopoes Go to Heaven paints a fresh and compelling picture of life in Swaziland that will capture your imagination and restore your faith in humanity.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 624 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus (1 Feb 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #200,261 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read 27 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved the first book by this author and kept hoping she would write another, after long wait she did. I loved this book it had an innocence about it (from child's point of view) and was very descriptive. If you like Number 1 ladies detective agency than I suggest you might also like this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The redemptive power of cake 19 Sep 2012
Viewed through the eyes of a young boy, Benedict and his family's new home in Swaziland is a wonderful place. The garden is teeming with fascinating beasts and beautiful plants and this 10-year old boy is mesmerized by the creatures on his door step. The young naturalist is almost able to forget that his place in the family has changed and it seems less important that he's rather lonely. His elder sister is playing with his new sister, his younger brother with his new brother. Benedict is still the one in the middle but he's now in the middle of five children rather than in the middle of three. Most cumbersome is his position as eldest son, a responsibility that he's not entirely sure he likes or wants. It means he's constantly anxious, trying to help, trying to put things right. He's worried that his new Mama's cake baking business isn't going well because as a foreigner she's not really supposed to be working. He wants to find a way to bring in business but he also wants to find a distraction to give Mama something else to think about instead of her ailing business.

Benedict's Baba and Mama (father and mother) are new - or rather not entirely new because they used to be his grandparents. His new brother and sister are actually his cousins who - like him and his siblings - are orphans. At a time when his new Baba and Mama should be taking it easy and slowing down, easing into retirement, they're chasing around Africa to find consultancy contracts for Baba so he can support his five new children. This strange patchwork family might sound unlikely to readers outside Africa but it reflects the reality of life in countries where lives are taken cheaply and where AIDS has cut out whole generations, leaving grandparents to become parents to their orphaned grandchildren.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story telling 21 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is a great follow on from Baking Cakes in Kigali and in my opinion a better book.
Easy to read and you fall in love with the characters. A great read for anyone who loves Alexander McCall Smith books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for the soul 10 May 2014
By Val
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This sequel to the brilliant 'Baking Cakes in Kigali' is told from the viewpoint of the baker's middle grandchild, a boy you'd love to meet. It's poignant but not sentimental, telling some of the hard stories of life for an African child, within an underlying theme of goodness surviving them all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In the midst of the appalling tragedy that is HIV/AIDs in the African continent, ten year old Benedict is getting on with his life as ten year old boys the world over do. Both his parents are 'late', and with his two siblings and two cousins, who also have 'late' parents, he has been taken under the wing of his grandparents. The family has just moved from Tanzania to Swaziland for his Baba's work. Mama, or Angel as she is also known, is desperately trying to get her cake baking business going, which is not easy while attempting to settle into a new place.

Benedict is the type of child who will find something good or positive in any situation, and for him, his new home is a paradise. A beautiful garden rich with lizards, birds and butterflies, and with the recent tragedies in his young life, it doesn't take much for him to escape into his own special world. As an outsider at school, a kwerekwere, he finds solace in the garden, in reading King Solomon's Mines to improve his language knowledge and generally getting to know his new environment. Which includes the search for the buried treasure in aforementioned book Benedict is convinced is buried nearby. Being an inquisitive boy, determined to be good for his grandparents, and where death from HIV/AIDS is an everyday occurrence, he very quickly endears himself to the local funeral directors. Lots of doors open to Benedict and his family as a result of his charm, and with his open mind and his open heart, yet little or no understanding of the adult world around him, he is a happy little lad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joyous 18 Aug 2013
This was a joyful read. The dialogue is perfect and shows a very fine appreciation for the modes of speech in the region - it would have been possible to tell that Gogo Levine was South African from the "Ag"s and "Hey"s even if it wasn't stated. The characters are very likeable and Benedict is developing into a great little personality. I especially enjoyed his confusion between being indentured and requiring dentures.

In terms of parallels between the books of Gaile Parkin and Alexander McCall Smith, I think it is more the wonderful characterization of Africans than the actual books themselves. Anyone who has been to either Botswana or Swaziland can see both countries, and the love of the authors for them, shining on the pages.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Easy reading, pleasant & heart warming 😀
Published 3 months ago by JG Baker
4.0 out of 5 stars A good follow up to Baking Cakes in Kigali and I ...
A good follow up to Baking Cakes in Kigali and I enjoyed it the first time around. Not the best book I've ever read though.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. D. L. Tickner
4.0 out of 5 stars A great follow up to Baking Cakes in Kigali
A great follow up to Baking Cakes in Kigali. I love the family characters but Gaile also manages to weave intothe story some important messages about HIV and how African families... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ms K F Moir
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointed
Sweet book but pace was too slow for me. Descriptive easy writing but i wish there was more of a story
Published 7 months ago by jonny G
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Really enjoyed Gail Parkin's previous book, but this one was just boring as entirely from the viewpoint of a child - I gave up.
Published 8 months ago by AnneC
4.0 out of 5 stars Out of Africa
Another gentle story base in Africa. It has good background and characters. I shall definitely read any other books by this author.
Published 19 months ago by BJW
5.0 out of 5 stars When Hoopoes go to Heaven
A delightful, gentle read. Story-telling at its best - funny, sad, happy, poignant, hard to put down. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Whimberry
4.0 out of 5 stars Gently building on the story started in 'Baking Cakes in Kigali'
Told through the eyes of Benedict, the family has moved to a new country. Benedict, the quiet middle child struggles to understand a confusing world. Read more
Published 23 months ago by M. P. Roe
3.0 out of 5 stars When Hoopoes Go To Heaven
I found it difficult to read the Swazi words and names and glossed over many of them. However, although it took me awhile to get into the story I did enjoy learning about the... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Maureen Patching
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