Baking Cakes in Kigali Hardcover – 1 Jan 2009
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“A charming and beautifully written novel of life in a country recovering from terrible horrors. Beguiling…Gaile Parkin’s creation Angel Tungaraza is sure to win over readers.” —"Bookseller
"From the Hardcover edition."
"A charming and beautifully written novel of life in a country recovering from terrible horrors. Beguiling...Gaile Parkin's creation Angel Tungaraza is sure to win over readers." --"Bookseller
"From the Hardcover edition."
A charming and beautifully written novel of life in a country recovering from terrible horrors. Beguiling Gaile Parkin s creation Angel Tungaraza is sure to win over readers. "Bookseller
"From the Hardcover edition."" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Gaile Parkin was born and raised in Zambia, and studied at universities in South Africa and England. She has lived in many different parts of Africa, including Rwanda, where Baking Cakes in Kigali is set. She is currently a freelance consultant in the fields of education, gender and HIV/AIDS.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is this question of survival that forms the leitmotif for the whole book. The various methods people use are explored through the experiences of the protagonists. The author offers no opinion on the 'correct' way but simply suggests how such unfortunates manage to survive at all.
The main character, Angel, is well-defined and believable in her calm manner and common-sense approach to her situation. I found some of the minor characters difficult to distinguish one from another because they are sketched almost thumbnail against the backdrop of compound life and not clearly enough defined on introduction.
It is hard to comment on the plot because there is not really a definable start-middle-end. The action strolls along much like life itself, which gives the book a familiar and almost insubstantial feel.
Towards the end, I felt a tighter editing would have helped as the prose meanders a little; the outline, vague to start with, grows fuzzy as it nears the horizon.
All in all, I found this novel easy to read, enlightening and sensitively written. It addresses a very difficult subject without any pathos or hysteria and is written with a lightness of touch that is refreshing.
The book brims with life, its characters beautifully imagined and easy to love, each with their own quirks. Angel, the main character, is a no-nonsense, caring woman and even though in Kigali she is surrounded by the painful memories of so many other people, her own sorrows are dealt with poignantly. Humour softens the story's edge, and the author has a wonderful way with words - laugh out loud moments are guaranteed.
'Baking Cakes In Kigali' is not a fast-paced thriller but nevertheless it takes a hold of you so that you will only put the book down with the greatest reluctance. It creates a world you yearn to read more about, to immerse yourself in. I also think it will appeal to a wide range of people, with its themes of reconciliation, feminism and what Africa really means. My one criticism of the book is that I would've liked to read about the outcome of the event at the ending, although if more books about Angel and her world are to come, I won't mind waiting.
Recommended to everyone!
But this is no lightweight tale of cosy family life. There is real substance to the fourteen sections of the novel. In each, Angel bakes a cake for a celebration full of promise but taking place in the terrible shadow of the past. She also manages to provide help to her clients without their realising it. The story is moving without being upsetting in its portrayal of women survivors who represent hope for the future.
Gaile Parkin has spent a lifetime in Africa. In Rwanda, she counselled survivors of the genocide. She does a wonderful job in this, her first novel, of conjuring up strong images of Rwanda, injecting humour as she goes. I recommend it highly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A beautiful book with lovely stories attached to the cakes Angel bakes. Each chapter tells another intrigue in the lives of the people who want Angels beautiful cakes?Published 1 month ago by Nick
A very touching and insightful look at life as an outsider in Rawanda, a country where war, poverty, racism and global profiteers have created an environment where no one seems to... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Cecelia Young
This one was trying to be a new "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" but failed miserably.Published 6 months ago by Hereward
A fantastic eye-opening account of life in Rwanda after the genocide . An inspiration to women and girls everywhere .Published 11 months ago by Jackie de Trafford
One of the most satisfying reads in a long time. I enjoyed reading about a culture unknown to me - the problems they face and how they still manage to go on inspite of them. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Kate