The women of Hope
Spring Community Church decide to publish a cookbook as a means to save
the Womenís Guild, but in the end these five different women form a
friendship exhibiting characteristics of loyalty, trust, humor and
In the beginning, no
one sees a point in Beatrice Newgardenís plan to put a cookbook
together. Each member of
the cookbook committee has their own private problems and feels the
cookbook project is a nuisance they rather add on to their load.
Yet as time passes, they learn to share their burdens and find
others willing to help carry the load.
Louise Fisher is thought to be a lesbian by the community. She does have passionate feelings for her best friend Roxie, but Roxie chose marriage and children. As Roxie begins to develop Alzheimerís, it becomes clear her husband does not wish to care for her and has started a new romance. Louise brings Roxie home and becomes obsessed with her care. As the cookbook committee learns of her situation, each finds a way to give support.
Jessie Jenkins is a
black activist who joined the white church in the 1960ís as an act of
rebellion. The minister
welcomed her, and soon she made the church her spiritual home. Jessieís conflict is delaying her great plans for her
grandson in light of his pregnant white girl friend.
The young couple is in love and plans to marry.
The cookbook committee aids Jesse through the tensions of an
interracial marriage at the church, and their united actions bring the
church body together in celebration.
Stewart is the churchís young pastor. As a child, she found peace and order in the church in
comparison to the chaos at home with her alcoholic mother. Even after becoming a pastor and her motherís recovery,
Charlotte rejects her motherís attempts to heal their relationship.
The cookbook committee and the death of a child show her how to
work through lifeís upsets and forgive lifeís shortcomings.
The two remaining
members of the cookbook committee provide humor and reason to the story.
Margaret Peele is a teacher who acts as peacemaker and negotiator
throughout the many conflicts. The
lighter moments come from Beatrice Newgarden, a bossy but well-meaning
widow. She expected to end
her days staying with each of her childrenís families for extended
visits. Her children had
other ideas. Beatrice
overcame her loneliness by becoming the cosmologist at the funeral home.
She saw her career as the perfect opportunity to make her clients
look their best on their way out. The
only problem was that the bereaved families didnít appreciate their
motherís dye hair and excessive make-up.
Lynne Hinton in The Friendship Cake has gathered women with modern problems, added a dash of humor, a pinch of heartbreak and a full measure of faith. After stirring well and baking, she leaves the reader with a smile and a strong belief in the kindness of others.
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