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Sharon Ransom

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  • Baking Cakes in Kigali

  • A Novel
  • By: Gaile Parkin
  • Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 58

Once in a great while a debut novelist comes along who dazzles us with rare eloquence and humanity, who takes us to bold new places and into previously unimaginable lives. Gaile Parkin is just such a talent and Baking Cakes in Kilgali is just such a novel. This gloriously written tale, set in modern-day Rwanda, introduces one of the most singular and engaging characters in recent fiction: Angel Tungaraza; mother, cake baker, keeper of secrets, a woman living on the edge of chaos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • NOT Ladies' Detective--Which is okay!

  • By Rebecca J. Leamon on 04-12-13

Feeding the heart and soul via literal cakes

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-30-18

The catchy title gets an onlooker's attention immediately because, of course, who would not be curious about eating cakes? And it opens the door for conversation with complete strangers! The theme resonates universally with people because it emphasizes the repercussions of colonialism and the underlying struggle among people of the diaspora who are left holding the frayed ends of a faulted economic system based on a concept of free labor, which is essentially, slavery.
The cakes are a medium for uplifting the people of Kigali and giving hope to them, after mysteries of death, plagues of HIV along with genocide, has devastated them. The narrator's perspective is one of absolute respect for her people regardless of their plight and she wisely maneuvers them to help one another despite harboring a painful memory that is eventually reconciled or accepted through those said relationships with her fellowman.