By Gaile Parkin
This was a very satisfying, gentle read. It takes place in present day Rwanda, in the aftermath of a great national genocide. The AIDS epidemic runs throughout the background of the story as a continuing tragedy.
The main character, Angel, bakes cakes for all occasions. As she takes their cake orders, she is able to get her customers to confide in her. She helps where she can to make their lives better. I definitely felt sympathetic toward Angel and most of the main characters. It was amusing to read their view of some of the UN workers, CIA agents and others sent in to help them.
While it might seem that having some incredibly sad stories as a backdrop, this novel would be too depressing to be enjoyable, I think the opposite is true. I found it very hopeful. In spite of the fact that many of the characters had been through excruciating situations, now they are finding reasons to celebrate. And eat cake.