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Publisher's Summary

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake celebrates strong women and stronger ties. Its humor, poignancy, and a dash of sass will touch the heart.”

In the South, you always say “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am.” You know everybody’s business. Football is a lifestyle, not a pastime. Food — especially dessert — is almost a religious experience. And you protect your friends as fiercely as you protect your family — even if the threat is something you cannot see.

In this spot-on Southern novel brimming with wit and authenticity, Laine, Carrigan, Ella Rae first met on the playground when they were five years old. Now, as adults, they’re still almost inseparable as they life together: from the sometimes rocky path of marriage to the outrageous curveballs that life sometimes throws — from devastating pain to absolute joy. Through it all, you’ll experience the essence and the joy of true friendship. And if you’re lucky, you just may discover the secret to hummingbird cake along the way.

CBA Reviews

“A delightful, heartwarming, and heart wrenching story that captures the beauty and essence of living in a small, southern town. A must read for ALL girls, 18 to 80.” (Ladies Southern Lit Society

“McHale’s magnificently penned novel is a story which demonstrates the power of genuine female friendships. The writing is sharp, fresh, and delivered to the reader with finesse and humor...a remarkable debut novel that is a must read for all who sincerely believe true friendship is a gift to be treasured.” (MK Torrance, Goodreads Master Reviewer) 

“The book starts out as chick lit but then takes a sharp turn on the genre and gives us something much more...a real look at the kind of remarkable female friendships that so many of us experience in real life but few books ever capture. I laughed and I wept, and readers will too. Wow.” (Linda Stasi, Columnist New York Daily News, author of The Sixth Station as well as six nonfiction books, TV Commentator for NY1, What A Week) 

“McHale’s debut novel is such an amazing surprise. Just when you think you’ve heard this song before, the music changes. It will make you laugh out loud and make you cry and stay with you long after the read is done. All in all, a brilliant raw look at life.” (Melissa Grego, editor-in-chief at Broadcasting & Cable

“Highly recommend this book to bookclubs everywhere. In a world where fake friendship is celebrated, it was most refreshing to read a story that defines what true friendship really is.” (The Dallas Dozen Bookclub) 

“Finally! A REAL story about REAL friendship! Get the tissues ready...for the happy tears and sad ones too.” (Grant Junior League) 

Full length, standalone novel

Women’s fiction, focused on friendship, and set in the South

Includes discussion questions for book clubs 

©2016 Celeste Fletcher McHale (P)2016 Thomas Nelson Publishers

What listeners say about The Secret to Hummingbird Cake

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Not What I Expected

Had I known the book was about death I wouldn't have chosen it. Yes, it's mostly a lovely story but I don't look to read about sadness of the death of a friend. Also, the narrator's voice is very pleasant but she doesn't vary her tone between characters so all too often it becomes confusing as to who is talking - including the men.

11 people found this helpful

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Gut wrenching you poignant

What else do you call a story that has you twisted in every direction? I laughter and cried and held on to every word. Cut my kids off and husband shushed the heck out of everyone so I could finish this book! In other words I got pulled in so much so that I became vested in them. Never having had a friendship so seeped in history and love like these women it was both inspiring and fascinating. I loved this book! Three women full of character will take you on a journey with them that will touch you and inspire you. Recommend it absolutely!

7 people found this helpful

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Loved this book

I bought the book because I liked the title and I was looking for something chick lit to pass s night recovering from an orthopedic procedure. It was as another reviewer wrote gut wrenching, but also uplifting and funny.

6 people found this helpful

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An Excellent Book

This is one of the best books I’ve “read” this year! I enjoyed learning about the lives of the three best friends and how they faced their various life problems. I highly recommend this book!

5 people found this helpful

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Heartfelt

This book takes you on a heartfelt journey your won't soon forget. Grab the kleenex though. You will need it.

4 people found this helpful

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Saved by the narrator and the humor

i was deceived by the positive reviews. This is really chick lit light, despite the fact that one of the characters faces terminal cancer. I had a hard time feeling any sympathy for the main character, Carrigan. She seemed to have a privileged life, never did anything except exercise, shop, and attend social events. I did like the narrator and the humorous prose, but the story was slight and the characters silly.

2 people found this helpful

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Best Friends Forever

I truly enjoyed this book, the journey life has for us, only God knows the direction it will take. The story of best friends, life turns in so many emotions, happy, challenging, sad, devastating, new life, and the loss of a bff is tough but in the end grieving makes you hold memories close to you heart. Cherish each moment in life with your bff whether you have known that person for years or just days.

2 people found this helpful

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Finally gave it a chance!

I was surprised how much I loved this book. I had it for several months. The summary of the book is what got my attention and I finally listened to it over several nights. Very clean. Sad at times. Funny at times. Romantic. All the things I like!

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable listen

This is a well read and nice story. My only complaint is that I feel it could have been condensed by a third.

2 people found this helpful

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Worth the Chuckles

Before listening to this, I read the other reviews. The book is not particularly religious and not particularly controversial as some of the reviews indicate. The narrator has a wonderful voice. I enjoyed many parts. The logic mentioned during a stressful time is the exact logic that many of us have used. It is not perfect though in the logic unveiled in one of the problems solved though. That would be my only complaint. The book is almost good enough to make my must listen to audible book list.

1 person found this helpful