Sunday, February 01, 2015

Baking Cakes in Kigali

"If you're a fan of the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency you'll love this" seems to be a common tag placed upon books these days but in this case it's true.

The story's heroine is Angel Tungaraza, cake baker extraordinaire. A Tanzanian by birth she's living with her husband, a university lecturer, and five grandchildren in Rwanda.

Nothing really happens in this story but what we do have is Angel using her intuitive skills, wisdom and ability to help customers and neighbours solve their problems, problems they may not even realise they have.

A book based in Rwanda can't fail to mention its comparatively recent and tragic history yet it's dealt with in an almost matter-of-fact way as are the continuing problems of and reactions to AIDs and ebola. They're there but life goes on.

Like Precious Ramotswe Angel has her little habits, taking off her glasses and wiping them at times of stress for example, and is a very likeable woman. Though her own life has been marred by personal tragedy, something she struggles to come to terms with in the course of the book, you're left in no doubt that if Angel is making your cake she'll sort out your life as well.

Highly recommended and not just to fans of the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

1 comment:

Jay, Sparking Synapse said...

I was never able to get into the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books. I tried several times, but found my attention wandering halfway down the first page. I don't know why, because I know they're popular and well-received, but they do nothing for me .. with the result that if someone recommends a book with the words 'if you love No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency you'll love this', I tend to give it a miss!

Might take a look at this one though, since you recommend it so highly!