Customer Reviews for

Baking Cakes in Kigali

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted August 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A well written tale

    Angel and Pius Tungararza move from Tanzania to Kigali, Rwanda as he has accepted a position at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology. Angel becomes renowned for her cake baking and her nurturing as she raises her five grandchildren although she still grieves the deaths of her adult children.

    Her Rwandan neighbors see her as a fellow African not tainted by the genocide; besides she is intelligent and caring. As Angel sells her cakes to them, her visitors ask for her advice on a myriad of subjects. Over tea, she provides her new friends and customers with sage assistance for free.

    Pius will remind readers of Precious Ramotswe (see No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith) although she is not a detective; she helps her clients cope with their personal issues. Ironically, her clients are never developed beyond representing a complex ugly issue that they face to include the genocide, AIDs, abject poverty, official corruption, and homeless parentless children, etc. Yet with all the darkness attached to a country whose most famous accomplishment in the last century was the genocide, there is a sense of renewal and optimism.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2011

    Great!

    I thought this book was allegorical, humorous, and had a sense of hope, similar to the silver lining in the movie Hotel Rwanda. A great debut novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2011

    LOVED THIS BOOK! Everyone should read it - high school and beyond.

    This story and the characters Parkin creates will grab your heart. You hear about the unspeakable dark things in the lives of Rwandans and nearby neighbors, but their stories are told during a time of hope and celebration - they are each ordering a cake! The reader has to think about the effect of AIDS, genocide, racism, and more facing these Africans, but we also get to see the process that some have gone through to keep on going, to forgive, to begin to heal. This is such a wonderful story, told so beautifully, that I think it should be essential reading for high-school age students and adults.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2010

    What a lovely book

    Baking Cakes in Kigali is a stunning first novel, and I can't wait to read more from Gaile Parkin! A lovely story of family and reconciliation following the atrocities in Rwanda, Baking Cakes in Kigali addresses those horrors as well as the AIDS epidemic in Africa. At the same time, the love and wisdom of friends, family, and neighbors provide a wonderful backdrop for learning of African customs. Very reminiscent of the Mma Ramotswe books by Alexander McCall Smith. If you've enjoyed those, you'll love this as well.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    A lovely book, engaging characters and a realistic view of Kigali

    I purchased this since my niece was teaching in Rwanda. The setting is realistic, the use of language is quirky and true to the city, and the sense of the city and the way people live gives you a window on how people live in Kigali. I loved the characters, and the subtle way the characters were developed. I strongly recommend this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 29, 2011

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    Posted October 26, 2009

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    Posted April 28, 2011

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    Posted April 13, 2013

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