Wintersalen Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    The Powell's Playlist | October 21, 2014

    Anne Rice: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Anne Rice



    These are the songs that wake me up, take me out of my worries and anxieties, wash my brain cells, and send me to the keyboard to write with new... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$9.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Baking Cakes in Kigali

by

Baking Cakes in Kigali Cover

ISBN13: 9780385343435
ISBN10: 0385343434
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $9.50!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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, finding ways to transform lives, weave magic, and create hope amid the madness swirling all around her.

In Kigali, Angel runs a bustling business: baking cakes for all occasions—cakes filled with vibrant color, buttery richness, and, most of all, a sense of hope only Angel can deliver.…A CIA agents wife seeks the perfect holiday cake but walks away with something far sweeter…a former boy-soldier orders an engagement cake, then, between sips of tea, shares an enthralling story…weary human rights workers…lovesick limo drivers. Amid this cacophony of native tongues, love affairs, and confessions, Angels kitchen is an oasis where people tell their secrets, where hope abounds and help awaits.

In this unlikely place, in the heart of Rwanda, unexpected things are beginning to happen: A most unusual wedding is planned…a heartbreaking mystery—involving Angels own family—unravels…and extraordinary connections are being made among the men and women who have tasted Angels beautiful cakes…as a chain of events unfolds that will change Angels life—and the lives of those around her—in the most astonishing ways.

Review:

"Set in an international apartment complex in Rwanda, Parkin's appealing but overstuffed debut throws together university professors, U.N. employees and CIA agents among a panoply of traditions and cultures. Heroine Angel Tungararza has moved from Tanzania with her husband, Pius, who's taken a job at the local university; before long, she develops a reputation as a masterful baker and a sagacious friend. Though haunted by the deaths of her grown daughter and son, Angel plunges back into motherhood, caring for her five grandchildren, tending to Pius, baking cakes and dispensing advice. Meanwhile, the sour undercurrents of AIDS and genocide play quiet but instrumental parts in shaping Angel's world. In Parkin's eagerness to introduce a rainbow of cultures and personalities, she crowds her enjoyable but terminally dedicated heroine, forcing Angel to take a saccharine supporting role in her own story; almost simultaneously, she's soothing survivors of Rwandan genocide, reconciling a local prostitute and her client, and serving as an honorary mother-of-the-bride. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

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 spent two years in Rwanda as a VSO volunteer at the new university doing a wide range of work: teaching, mentoring, writing learning materials, working with the campus clinic to counsel students with HIV/AIDS, and doing gender advocacy and empowerment work. Evenings and weekends, she counselled women and girls who were survivors. Many of the stories told by the characters in Baking Cakes for Kigali are based on or inspired by stories Parkin was told herself. She is currently a freelance consultant in the fields of education, gender, and HIV/AIDS.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Gypsi, June 5, 2010 (view all comments by Gypsi)
Angel Tungaraza moved to Kigali, Rwanda from her native Tanzania when her husband took a job at the local university. An accomplished cake maker, Angel adds extra income to her large family and gives herself much joy by making custom-ordered cakes for friends, neighbors, and strangers who have heard the good word about her fabulous creations. In addition to being a "professional someone" (as she would call herself), Angel is Mama to her five orphaned grandchildren, confidant of friends and strangers, and a true example of a good woman.

Each chapter centers around one of Angel's cakes, giving the reader shorter stories inside the larger story. It is a story of family, of community, of all manners of love and reconciliation, and of course, of beautiful cakes. I wish I could explain the plot better, to show how desirable a read this is, but I simply can't. Suffice it to say that it is a surprisingly complex plot, despite this books benign face, with Angel facing several interesting ethical issues as well as the range of various good, bad and amusing situations.

Ms. Parkin uses the fact that Angel is an outsider to Rwanda to easily explain the current situation and the bloody past of this country. It never feels contrived; the explanations happen very naturally--as does most everything in this book. . . It all feels very natural. Customs are clarified, situations set up, the reader gently led here and there and yet, it just feels "real" and lifelike, always smooth and believable. Even the conversations, held in a manner so different from Western conversations, become so real that when a Westerner does appear, using typical Western speech, it seems brash and out of context.

This is truly a masterpiece, a first novel of the highest quality. It is a lovely, heartwarming book that sparkles with gentle wit, at times tugs the heartstrings, but is above all, a joyful experience. I can not recommend this novel highly enough. What a pleasure, what a delight.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Cathy from Olympia, Washington, February 1, 2010 (view all comments by Cathy from Olympia, Washington)
Angel Tungaraza, cake baker extraordinaire, lives in post civil war Rwanda with her husband and orphaned grandchildren. While she is a gifted cake artist, her true talent seems to lie in her ability to draw people's stories out of them, some humorous, many tragic, and, while listening, help her "story-tellers" heal themselves... Many of the stories include losses due to the AIDs epidemic in Africa, the slaying of Tutsi families and friends by the hands of formerly trusted neighbors (and sometimes family members), one story touches on female circumcision, and several deal with infidelity and "affairs of the heart." Just to name a few! A magical novel that weaves romance, personal loss, history and personal redemption into a rich tapestry of life.

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Denise Morland, August 26, 2009 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
Baking Cakes in Kigali is the heartwarming tale of Angel Tungaraza, a professional cake baker living in Rwanda. She creates beautiful and creative cakes; an airplane for a young girl's birthday, a prison with bent bars for a divorce party, and a ying/yang cake to create balance.

Each cake comes with a story - families reunited after the genocide in Rwanda, young women learning to be entrepreneurs, love affairs, and divorces. At the center of it all is Angel dispensing advice, cupcakes, and sweet tea and keeping secrets because she is a professional somebody. Angel's ability to gently solve the problems of everyone around her is nicely balanced with her struggles to overcome her own heartbreak. Both her daughter and son are dead and she must come to terms with their deaths while raising her grandchildren. The book doesn't shy away from tough issues confronting AIDS, genocide, and infidelity head on and this lends the story a depth and realistic flavor it would otherwise be missing.
I loved the characters, enjoyed the humor, and was warmed by the sense of hope found in Baking Cakes in Kigali. I'll look forward to reading Gaile Parkin's next novel!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385343435
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Parkin, Gaile
Publisher:
Delacorte Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Family life
Subject:
Women cooks
Subject:
Bakers
Subject:
Bakeries
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090818
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.46x5.76x1.09 in. .95 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. The Eleventh Man

  2. City of Thieves

  3. Fair Game: How a Top Spy Was... Used Trade Paper $7.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Baking Cakes in Kigali Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Delacorte Press - English 9780385343435 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Set in an international apartment complex in Rwanda, Parkin's appealing but overstuffed debut throws together university professors, U.N. employees and CIA agents among a panoply of traditions and cultures. Heroine Angel Tungararza has moved from Tanzania with her husband, Pius, who's taken a job at the local university; before long, she develops a reputation as a masterful baker and a sagacious friend. Though haunted by the deaths of her grown daughter and son, Angel plunges back into motherhood, caring for her five grandchildren, tending to Pius, baking cakes and dispensing advice. Meanwhile, the sour undercurrents of AIDS and genocide play quiet but instrumental parts in shaping Angel's world. In Parkin's eagerness to introduce a rainbow of cultures and personalities, she crowds her enjoyable but terminally dedicated heroine, forcing Angel to take a saccharine supporting role in her own story; almost simultaneously, she's soothing survivors of Rwandan genocide, reconciling a local prostitute and her client, and serving as an honorary mother-of-the-bride. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.