Saturday, August 31
Book Review: Baking Cakes in Kigali
Author: Gaile Parkin
Summary: Angel Tungaraza is a professional baker, amateur matchmaker, an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. She runs a successful cake business in Rwanda, where people from all walks of life come to her to order one of her spectacular cakes - as a gift, for a celebration, or simply to remember - but they stay t share their stories of loss and pain, of hope and redemption. And from their stories, Angel draw the ingredients she needs to craft a cake that will forever change their lives. Set against a backdrop of a country recovering from tragic events, Baking Cakes in Kigali is an inspiring and touching first novel about life, love, food and universal truths that reveals how the human spirit - even when tested to the limits of imagination - endure and unifies us all.
My Rating: 6.5/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: I did enjoy some aspects of the book, it had heart to it and the idea behind it was one I was initially interested in. However, I felt that it didn't come together for me and it lacked a lot of the necessary elements to pull me into the book.
I liked the general idea behind the story and how the community was brought together the premise itself was a good one, but I didn't feel it was executed as well. Especially compared to books that are similar to this one. It always seemed to be just out of reach to being a book has characters you can have an emotional connection to. There was a eclectic cast of characters, but they always seemed to be underdeveloped and lacked anything strong enough to keep me fully interested in the books.
One of the elements of the book I did like, was how the author showed how the hardships the characters faced, such as the sickness, economic factors and showed the reader how these horrific elements had become an almost every day occurrence for the characters. They seemed to have accepted them in a sense, that these hardships will happen, and yet they attempt to live their lives to the best of the their abilities. I think that theme was one of the strongest elements of the entire book.
Another issue I had with the book I had, was that it was very repetitive at times. The phrase "she took a tissue from her brassier" occurred in the book about ten times to many. It was something that just didn't need to be in the story that many times, nor was it something that moved the plot along and most of the time seemed out of place and distracting to the rest of the story. I also found that the plot never came together and connected properly as a novel. I felt that there wasn't anything in the story to pull them all and make it into a cohesive story. It almost felt like a bunch of interconnected, yet unfinished, short stories, than a novel. Because nothing connected properly for me, I felt that both plot and character weren't developed properly and it I always felt disconnected to the story.
Overall it was an okay read, but I was expecting something different and in the end, it wasn't a favourite of mine.
Would I recommend it to read: Hmm, it wasn't my favourite read, but I think if you enjoy similar books to this one (Cup of Friendship), then I'd say give it a try.
What to read next: A Cup of Friendship, The Color of Tea
Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge