Cake (A Review)

10:17 PM

So, the lovely people at Zondervan sent me another book to review, and this one is adorable. Middle-grade fiction is my favorite genre and I love discovering new releases that have a blend of old-fashioned charm and contemporary appeal. Cake, by Joyce Magnin, definitely fits that bill.

I was in the midst of a busy few weeks of rehearsals (for a local musical) while reading this, and it kept me coming back for more, despite all the distractions that were swirling around. That's saying a lot.

12 year old Wilma Sue was abandoned by her mother when she was just a baby, and she's lived off and on at Miss Daylily's Home for Children (or, as Wilma Sue calls it, Miss Daylily's Home for Unwanted and Misunderstood Children). At least, when she wasn't in a foster home.

When the family she currently lives with (and despises) wins the lottery and takes off on a tour of the world, she's relocated to a new home, and it's unlike anything she's ever experienced before. Naomi and Ruth, two retired missionaries living in an old-fashioned parsonage, eagerly accept her into their lives and hearts, but Wilma Sue is hesitant to let their love creep in. She's sure that she'll be sent back to the Home again sooner or later.

But Wilma Sue can't help befriending the chickens in the coop in the backyard, and helping Naomi make some very special cakes for the neighbors. The cakes seem to be almost magical, and they change people.

Cake caught my attention from the very beginning, with its quirky descriptions, funny character surnames, and a reference to Emily of New Moon (by my beloved L.M. Montgomery) right off the bat. It feels as if it was made, like the cakes it describes, with a lot of love, and a pinch of something special. This story has heart.

All those lovely things said, I want to be completely honest in my review and say that sometimes the style of writing seemed to change, and occasionally pulled me out of the story. I'm not sure if this was just me, or if the author purposefully (or accidentally) meandered and took time with description in some chapters, and then hurried through others. (The places where she meandered were my favorites.)

Lastly, I wish I had seen the growth of main character more clearly over the course of the story. I felt that in the end some things weren't quite resolved, and it left me feeling as if I was missing a piece of the puzzle. Perhaps this was intentional... is there going to be a sequel???

But, personal writing style and pacing preferences aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this fun and easy read and I definitely recommend it.

I will also give a warning: This book may make you crave cake. :)


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