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Friendship Cake (Hope Springs) Mass Market Paperback – July 31, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Hope Springs
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harpertorch (July 31, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380820145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380820146
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,481,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

How many Southern women does it take to put together a cookbook? Five, in Hinton's sincere but frothy debut novel, in which several female congregants of the appropriately named Hope Springs Community Church in North Carolina decide to create a cookbook; each has her own special recipe to share and a story to tell. On the cookbook committee are pragmatic Margaret, whose down-home wisdom makes her the community confidant; 63-year-old Louise, nursing the unrequited love of her life, another woman, through Alzheimer's; Beatrice, with a finger in everyone else's pie; Jessie, the only black woman in the all-white congregation; and Reverend Charlotte Stewart, their first woman preacher. The project originates as a form of female bonding through food, but as the committee holds meetings to review their progress, a lot more is stirred up than soups and stews. Also on the table are death and sex, friendship and love. The characters introduce themselves in the opening chapters, and their voices are like a potluck dinner, unsophisticated and oddly comforting. Hinton, herself a North Carolina pastor, successfully endows Charlotte with all of the self-doubts that a cleric might feel facing her first congregation. Mostly, though, this is thin fare, with complex issues like interracial marriage and the tragic death of a child resolved by one easy remedy: love. There are 17 recipes included, but these are also pretty basic--banana pudding, relish, grits--leaving readers to wish there were something as satisfying as fried green tomatoes on the menu. Agent, Sally McMillan. 10-city author tour.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The reaction of the Hope Springs Community Church women's group to the idea of writing a cookbook is lukewarm at best until Beatrice breaks down and confesses that she came up with the idea in hopes that sharing a project will make them better friends. They are an unusual group: Beatrice, the town gossip and make-up artist for the funeral home; Margaret, a reclusive widow; tough Louise, who needs the strength of others as the woman she's secretly loved for 40 years enters the final stages of Alzheimer's; Jessie, an African American, who attended a white church on a dare and found a stronger commitment to the Lord; and Charlotte, the young pastor, who tries to be everything to everyone and risks losing her faith along the way. As these women share recipes and a love of the Lord, they make a friendship cake to last till the end of their lives. Hinton (Meditations for Walking) tackles issues dividing churches today, particularly homosexuality and interracial relationships, in a caring and forthright manner. A deceptively simple first novel; for all collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

A retreat leader and writing teacher, Lynne Hinton is the author of numerous novels including Pie Town, Wedding Cake, Christmas Cake, Friendship Cake, Hope Springs, and Forever Friends. She also writes a mystery series under the name Jackie Lynn. She lives in New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

A sweet, cozy book with recipes included.
L. Redding
We get introduced to a little bit about each character's lives, but I felt that the author just scratched the surface and there wasn't a lot of substance.
Sandra Mitchell
It's a beautiful story of the healing power and strength of faith, women's friendships and love in real people in the real world.
Marion

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most charming novels I've read in recent years. More than that, it is a satisfying, complete story of women's friendships that manages to avoid becoming sticky-sweet in the process. The author is to be commended for avoiding melodrama and cloying conclusions. I came to know and love each character in this book. Hinton's use of recipes, by the way, goes far beyond gimmickry; each recipe is a true reflection of its owner's personality, and the "cookbook" unifying plot of the novel further justifies their use. I would love to see sequels continuing the lives, loves, and misadventures of the delightful damsel denizens of Hope Springs, North Carolina!
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Barbara O'Neill on May 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In the style of Patricia Gaffney's Saving Graces, Friendship Cake is a real-life novel whose focus is women, the lives they live and the problems they face.
Friendship Cake takes 5 disparate church women and throws them together in the course of putting together a church cookbook. But, it's more than recipes that get tested. Friendship, love and trust are put to the test over and over as the ladies learn to accept the others --- and themselves --- for who they are.
I didn't know what to expect from this novel, which is written by a pastor in North Carolina and I have to say that I do hope Pastor Hinton has more stories like this tucked away, just waiting to be written. Quite a wonderful book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Pretty Brown Girl VINE VOICE on November 24, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The four members (Margaret Peele, Louise Fisher, Beatrice Newgarden, and Jessie Jenkins) of the Hope Springs Community Church gather to collect and sort recipes for a cookbook, they also bring their life experiences and hopes and burdens. Five very different women begin to form a bond of friendship after years of casual acquaintances. Each one goes through a personal metamorphosis and self-awakening and become interconnected through a series of life events that forms an unbreakable bond. Each one comes to terms with crisis in their lives and realize they are not superwomen and lean on each other to get through difficult times. This is a quick, simple book that addresses all kinds of issues of loneliness, unplanned teenage pregnancy, cancer, Alzheimer's, lost love, death of a child, faith in God, racism, homosexuality, and various other situations. The author addresses the topics carefully sprinkling humor and Southern Recipes throughout...ending the novel with the recipe for Friendship Cake. It is a quick, easy, and enjoyable read with a positive lesson to carry forward.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michele Caprario on September 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Through an endearing story of women in church community, Lynne Hinton helps prove that with faith, hope and love (and women friends' gooding cookin' and senses of humor!) all things can be survived- sometimes even brought back to be made 'shiny and new'.Loved this story and characters. Can't wait to read the author's next book...
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Busy Mom VINE VOICE on May 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Give me a sweet tale with recipes thrown in and you have a friend for life. This is a definite must-buy ~~ if nothing more than for the recipes.
But the story about five women in a women's guild at a small church in a southern town forced to meet together to create a recipe book ~~ is really sweet ~~ but not too sryupy sweet. Like all women's friendships, there are spurts of outspokeness, anger and awkwardness as well as a saucy attitudes to the quieter side of relationships. When tragedies help form a bond between these women, these women are surprised to realize that their friendships among themselves are unique and should be treasured.
If you are like me ~~ slow to make good friends ~~ but once you do, they've a friend in you for life ~~ then you will enjoy this little tidbit of a book. It is a warm celebration of friendship and joy in the midst of life's sorrows and tribulations as well as trimuphs. If you have a best friend that you treasure, then this is the perfect book to give to her.
And the delicious recipes don't hurt either. Already, my mouth is watering from the prune cake and the sweet potato casserole. It's worth every penny ~~ and a trip down memory lane.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mary G. Longorio VINE VOICE on December 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As the members of the Cookbook Committee of the Hope Springs Community Church gather to0 collect and sort recipes for a cookbook, they also bring their life experiences and hopes and burdens. Five very different women begin to form a bond of friendship, and that bond is tested by the daily trials of life. One by one they come to terms with pieces of their lives and realize they are not alone, and do not have to face life's difficulties alone. This is a tender book that helps to answer one of the pressing questions almost everyone asks at one time or another....am I alone? All kinds of difficulties abound, an unplanned pregnancy, the end of life, illness, rediscovered love, even the uneasy relationship between people who are different. All five women face these tests with humor and tenacity.....and carry the others along. Thw simple sweetness of this book will linger long after the pages are closed. P.S. The recipes interspersed throughout the book are pure southern cooking, the only thing missing is a really good biscuit recipe!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on December 15, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Friendship Cake is the beginning of something good & with every single piece you get a wonderful memory. Just like the women of Hope Springs Community Church. Each one has a special ingredient to offer the recipe of Friendship. Beatrice feels a project such as creating a cookbook is just the thing to build fellowship to Hope Springs Community Church. The committee members are Beatrice, Louise, Margaret, Jessie and Charlotte. Bea is considered a busybody; personally I think she's a people person. She's always in touch with everyone's life. I guess that privilege is afforded to her as President of the Women's Guild.
Louise Fisher was heart-broken by the only person she has ever loved. She lives her life waiting to exhale. Under unfortunate circumstances she is allowed to breath, but that breath is short lived.
Margaret Peele is the strength of the Women's Guild. At a very early age she was taught how to cook and make ends meet in a kitchen. After her mother's death Margaret turns in her apron for a tractor-trailer and a woodshed.
Jesse Jenkins is the only African American woman in attendance at Hope Springs Community Church. I believe Jessie is the quiet storm in the recipe, until she finds the peace only her mother can offer, and lastly the Reverend Charlotte Stewart; she's young and the first woman preacher at Hope Springs.
Together these women enlist the help of family, friends and schoolteachers to share their recipes for the Hope Springs Community Church Cookbook. Lynne Hinton's characters jump right off the pages and into your heart. This book reminds me that friendship is setting aside your personal feelings and being there for the love of your friend. Louise says it best "Love is just doing what love does." Friendship Cake is a must read and I guarantee these characters will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
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