The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale: A Book Review

_140_245_Book.1817.coverWhen all else fails, turn to the divine taste of hummingbird cake.

In the South you always say “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am.” You know everybody’s business. Football is a lifestyle not a pastime. Food—especially dessert— is almost a religious experience. And you protect your friends as fiercely as you protect your family— even if the threat is something you cannot see.

In this spot-on Southern novel brimming with wit and authenticity, you’ll laugh alongside lifelong friends, navigate the sometimes rocky path of marriage, and roll through the outrageous curveballs that life sometimes throws . . . from devastating pain to absolute joy. And if you’re lucky, you just may discover the secret to hummingbird cake along the way. 

My Review: There is a lot to love about this book! This is a story about friendship, and not just any friendship, but deep, authentic, I’d-do-anything-for-you friendship. This book describes the kind of friendship that has always been the goal of my life. The story centers around three friends and their lives, but the heart of the book revolves around their friendship.

This book has heart and depth. Getting to know the girls in this story was so much fun. Their friendship felt so natural and flowed easily. Even though this is a fun read, it is also a story full of pain, tragedy and loss. The difficult circumstances dealt with in this book are handled very, very well. It felt very authentic and I applaud the author’s sensitivity to the subject matter. I don’t often become overwhelmed with emotions while reading, but this book brought me to tears.

Probably my most favorite thing about this book was the fact that two of the three girls were married and unapologetically housewives. There was no shame or condemnation in this, and it seemed to be considered quite natural, which as a very happy housewife, I found refreshing!

There was one thing about this book that I greatly disliked.  (spoiler ahead) At the beginning of this book, both happy housewives were also without children. Neither seemed interested in motherhood, especially the one. She was emphatically uninterested in being a parent and seemed decidedly child-free. To read a novel with a happily married, child-free housewife was awesome…until you guessed it, BOTH women ended up having babies. I could understand the one, but the other was clearly not interested in being a mom. This felt so out of character and it frustrates me that a woman cannot be considered happy and complete unless she has a child. I would have loved this book beyond measure if the character had remained true to character and stayed child-free and happy. I know most women want children, and that’s absolutely wonderful for them! I completely get that they have that desire, but not every woman does.

Despite this frustrating flaw, this was a wonderful book and I greatly enjoyed it.

*I received a copy of this book free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Celeste Fletcher McHale lives on her family farm in Central Louisiana where she enjoys raising a variety of animals. Her hobbies include writing, football, baseball, and spending much time with her grandchildren.


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