August 28, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT

Baking Cakes in Kigali

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Gaile Parkin
publisher
Delacorte
genre
Fiction
We gave it a B

Everyone needs a neighbor like Angel Tungaraza, a successful cake baker from Tanzania now living in Rwanda’s capital city. Angel, whose warmth and coolheaded cleverness might remind some readers of Precious Ramotswe from the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, is raising her five grandchildren after the deaths of her son and daughter. As she wrestles with her own grief, she elicits the secrets and stories of her grieving friends and neighbors, many of whom are still reeling from the horrors of genocide. The plot of Gaile Parkin’s Baking Cakes in Kigali is episodic and meandering, but there’s a moving sense of urgency and pain underneath Angel’s gentle demeanor. B

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