Angel Tungaraza and her husband moved from Tanzania to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, a few years after the end of the genocide. Angel has a talent for making cakes, and not just ordinary cakes either. Angel has to know enough about the person the cake is for to make it special whether that means making a cake in the shape of a cell phone or a 3-d airplane. And while each of these cakes celebrate something, each person who orders one has had incredible pain in his or her life. Angel's customers have lost family members to AIDS and the genocide. They are relief workers and prostitutes. But Angel's compassion and goodwill touches each of them as her life has also been filled with sorrow and with joy.
I loved this book. Loved it. Angel's voice is beautiful. She wants to be a good mother and grandmother and sometimes just doesn't know how. She loves her husband but sometimes doesn't know how to talk to him. She is so aware of those around her and always wants to give but sometimes struggles with the decisions she makes.
I have never read a book about Rwanda or the horrors that existed for so long in that country. This book touches on those difficult subjects in a way that allowed me to feel more than sorrow for such huge losses both from AIDS and all out slaughter - Baking Cakes is about people, about individuals and how they survived so much suffering. I will be coming back to this book again I think.