More than frosting filled those cakes… Wilma Sue seems destined to go from one foster home to the next—until she is sent to live with sisters and missionaries, Ruth and Naomi. Do they really care about Wilma Sue, or are they just looking for a Cinderella-style farmhand to help raise chickens and bake cakes? As Wilma Sue adjusts to her new surroundings and helps deliver ‘special’ cakes, Wilma Sue realizes there’s something strange going on. She starts looking for secret ingredients, and along the way she makes a new friend, Penny. When Penny and her mother hit a rough patch, Naomi decides to make her own version of cake—with disastrous results. Then tragedy strikes the chickens, and all fingers point to Wilma Sue—just when she was starting to believe she could at last find a permanent home with Ruth and Naomi. Will the sisters turn her out, or will she discover what it feels like to be truly loved?
Joyce Magnin is the author of The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, chosen as one of the “Top 5 Best Christian Fiction Books of 2009″ by Library Journal. She’s written several short fiction and personal experience articles. She co-authored the book, Linked to Someone in Pain. She has been published in such magazines as Relief Journal, Parents Express, Sunday Digest, and Highlights for Children. Joyce attended Bryn Mawr College and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship. She is a frequent workshop leader at various writer’s conferences and women’s church groups. She has three children, Rebekah, Emily, and Adam; one grandson, Lemuel Earnest; one son-in-law, Joshua, and a neurotic parakeet. Joyce leads a small fiction group called StoryCrafters. She enjoys baseball, football, cream soda, and needle arts but not elevators. She currently lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania.
I have read and enjoyed 2 adult novels by Joyce Magnin. Her quirky characters are part of the attraction for me. That and her humor. So when I was given the opportunity to review a middle reader book by her, I thought sure, why not. What I found was a really good book with humor, insight and a wonderful faith message. Cake: Love, Chickens And A Taste of Peculiar is a book I would recommend to everyone!
Wilma Sue is an orphan. Her mother dropped her on the doorstep of the Daylily Home for Unwanted and Misunderstood Children (Wilma Sue’s label) when she was just 17 days old. Wilma Sue has had her share of feeling unwanted, unloved and rejected during her 12 years. But now she has landed in the slightly odd and very unpredictable home of Naomi and Ruth, sisters and retired missionaries to Malawi. What goes on in Gray House is anything but normal — birds and fireworks fly out of cakes, arthritic men stand a little straighter, a woman with a case of the gossips begins to talk of other things, and Wilma Sue finally feels like she has found a home. Wilma Sue learns that the best thing to do is not just get along, but to give and in turn receive love.
Cake is the perfect book for a family read along. There is a lot of truth among the stories of taking care of chickens and baking cakes. There are also some wonderful and of course quirky characters. Magnin’s humor also shines through, especially in her naming and descriptions of the characters. Who couldn’t feel a bit wary of a child named Penelope Pigsworthy or in awe of an opera singer named Ramona Von Tickle? There are also a lot of interesting tidbits to discuss along the way — from the country of Malawi to the care and feeding of chickens to the great classic Beowulf. Yes, all that and a lot of fun. My only complaint is that I had a readers copy that did not include the illustrations of the goings on within the book. From the cover illustration, I can imagine they add a great deal to the telling of the story.
So if you are looking for a book for your 9 – 12 year old children or grandchildren, get a copy of Cake, and then schedule some family time for reading fun.
To purchase Cake, click on the image below.
(I received Cake from DJCCommunications in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)