The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale


Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

Four Silver Stars

The Secret to Hummingbird CakeThe Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

The publisher made an interesting choice for the blurb of The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by author Celeste Fletcher McHale, a story centered on a quirky but solid three-woman friendship in a small Southern town. Finally going over the blurb after I read the novel, I found the blurb to be a rather vague advertisement. I’m not keen on sharing a whole lot more plot details in a review than what appears in the book description, but as far as my impressions of this novel go…

I thought the first quarter or so of the story to be slow but pretty perky. So I settled in for something more along the lines of lighter chick lit, but the journey I was in for wasn’t what I expected. Even with its humorous moments of friends-and-family banter, this is a heavy account: human, real, painful, and life-affirming. There are places where the heroine and her story seem to amble around the same emotional circles a little too much or too long, but the overall realness here makes up for that.

I must say, though, that despite the faith thread running through the novel, I wouldn’t recommend this book to conservative (and likely even to many diehard) Christian Fiction fans, on account of the characters’ language at some points, which many readers would classify as cursing. No F-bombs, granted, and the “language” isn’t rampant, but that–along with some expressions and joking with references to God–isn’t what a lot of ChristFic readers are looking for from this genre, I’m sure. As this isn’t the first time I’ve run into this type of thing with this publisher, I now know it’s something I have to bear in mind when I consider reading new books from them.

Even so, this novel does make a compelling case about what really matters in life, and a good many women’s fiction fans should find it worth the read.


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