McClelland & Stewart|July 6, 2010|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-7710-6902-4
Baking Cakes in Kigali is a tale in fourteen confections, and behind each cake lies a story. As baker Angel Tungaraza busies herself with her customer’s orders, we learn about their lives: Ken Akimoto – with his penchant for partying, her best client – and Bosco, his lovesick driver; Dr. Rejoice, without whom she’d never cope with the hot flashes that send her delving into her brassiere for a handkerchief so often these days; Odile, an AIDS worker whose love life Angel has taken a keen interest in; and not forgetting young Leocadie, Modeste, and their baby boy, Beckham. Angel works her magic, solving problems for all around her, and in turn, they help her lay her own demons to rest: perhaps she can finally face the truth about the loss of her own son and daughter, and achieve a sense of peace…
Hauntingly charming, funny, and involving, Baking Cakes in Kigali is a novel about the real meaning of reconciliation – about how, in the aftermath of tragedy, life goes on and people still manage to find reasons to celebrate.
This was a funny, sad, heartwarming read. Angel Tungaraza bakes and decorates the most beautiful cakes. As each of her customers come to see her to ask her to bake one, she hands them her portfolio to look at while she makes them tea. Her best client is Ken Akimoto who regularly holds parties and loves karaoke and the people of the apartment building are usually invited, but those that aren’t never complain about the noise because at one time or another they have been invited.
Each person that comes to see Angel has some sort of problem that she helps them solve. She seems to have an air about her that makes her easily approachable and easy to talk to, however, at the same time, she comes to accept, in her own way, the deaths of both her own daughter and son.
Even amongst all these problems, terrible illnesses and death, it shows us that life does go on and people still find reasons to celebrate regardless of the hardships they’ve faced.
I would recommend this book to others.