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The Secret to Hummingbird Cake

Narrated by: Nan Kelley
Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

Non-member price: $33.37

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Publisher's Summary

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake celebrates strong women and stronger ties. Its humor, poignancy, and a dash of sass will touch the heart.”

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, Laine, Carrigan, Ella Rae first met on the playground when they were five years old. Now, as adults, they’re still almost inseparable as they life together: from the sometimes rocky path of marriage to the outrageous curveballs that life sometimes throws — from devastating pain to absolute joy. Through it all, you’ll experience the essence and the joy of true friendship. And if you’re lucky, you just may discover the secret to hummingbird cake along the way.

CBA Reviews

“A delightful, heartwarming, and heart wrenching story that captures the beauty and essence of living in a small, southern town. A must read for ALL girls, 18 to 80.” (Ladies Southern Lit Society

“McHale’s magnificently penned novel is a story which demonstrates the power of genuine female friendships. The writing is sharp, fresh, and delivered to the reader with finesse and humor...a remarkable debut novel that is a must read for all who sincerely believe true friendship is a gift to be treasured.” (MK Torrance, Goodreads Master Reviewer) 

“The book starts out as chick lit but then takes a sharp turn on the genre and gives us something much more...a real look at the kind of remarkable female friendships that so many of us experience in real life but few books ever capture. I laughed and I wept, and readers will too. Wow.” (Linda Stasi, Columnist New York Daily News, author of The Sixth Station as well as six nonfiction books, TV Commentator for NY1, What A Week) 

“McHale’s debut novel is such an amazing surprise. Just when you think you’ve heard this song before, the music changes. It will make you laugh out loud and make you cry and stay with you long after the read is done. All in all, a brilliant raw look at life.” (Melissa Grego, editor-in-chief at Broadcasting & Cable

“Highly recommend this book to bookclubs everywhere. In a world where fake friendship is celebrated, it was most refreshing to read a story that defines what true friendship really is.” (The Dallas Dozen Bookclub) 

“Finally! A REAL story about REAL friendship! Get the tissues ready...for the happy tears and sad ones too.” (Grant Junior League) 

Full length, standalone novel

Women’s fiction, focused on friendship, and set in the South

Includes discussion questions for book clubs 

©2016 Celeste Fletcher McHale (P)2016 Thomas Nelson Publishers

What listeners say about The Secret to Hummingbird Cake

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-11-2016

Gut wrenching you poignant

What else do you call a story that has you twisted in every direction? I laughter and cried and held on to every word. Cut my kids off and husband shushed the heck out of everyone so I could finish this book! In other words I got pulled in so much so that I became vested in them. Never having had a friendship so seeped in history and love like these women it was both inspiring and fascinating. I loved this book! Three women full of character will take you on a journey with them that will touch you and inspire you. Recommend it absolutely!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Lewisa
  • 20-02-2018

An Excellent Book

This is one of the best books I’ve “read” this year! I enjoyed learning about the lives of the three best friends and how they faced their various life problems. I highly recommend this book!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Lynne C
  • 19-02-2018

Loved this book

I bought the book because I liked the title and I was looking for something chick lit to pass s night recovering from an orthopedic procedure. It was as another reviewer wrote gut wrenching, but also uplifting and funny.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Wendy Wiley
  • 08-02-2018

Heartfelt

This book takes you on a heartfelt journey your won't soon forget. Grab the kleenex though. You will need it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • riverhome5
  • 04-10-2019

Enjoyable listen

This is a well read and nice story. My only complaint is that I feel it could have been condensed by a third.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Darlene Timmons
  • 27-03-2020

Best Friends Forever

I truly enjoyed this book, the journey life has for us, only God knows the direction it will take. The story of best friends, life turns in so many emotions, happy, challenging, sad, devastating, new life, and the loss of a bff is tough but in the end grieving makes you hold memories close to you heart. Cherish each moment in life with your bff whether you have known that person for years or just days.

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  • Gayle Van Etten
  • 27-11-2019

Finally gave it a chance!

I was surprised how much I loved this book. I had it for several months. The summary of the book is what got my attention and I finally listened to it over several nights. Very clean. Sad at times. Funny at times. Romantic. All the things I like!

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  • Vero Mendoza
  • 02-11-2019

Great read

This book was filled with laughter some suspense and sadness I seriously loved everything about it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rdenmon1
  • 05-10-2018

True friendship never dies

I loved this story. Carringan was simply awesome and a true depiction of when we assume something, we make an ass out of ourselves. These girls were friends indeed and the love they shared was not void of trials and tribulations, but withstood the test of time. I adored Laine and especially the courage she had while planning her last days. This book made me laugh out loud cry in secret and ponder my thoughts if I was faced with a similar situation. Ella Rae reminds me of one of my best friends and there was never a dull moment when she was around. The men were awesome, patient, loving and kind and full of love and forgiveness. This is the second book that I've enjoyed from this author and I'm hanging on by a thread while waiting for the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Loyia T. Lopez
  • 08-06-2018

Get The Tissue Ready.

The true meaning of friendship. This story brought me to tears. Even though the story was sorrowful, I loved the friendship, love, and connections these three women had with each other, it was priceless. The narrator did an amazing job in bringing the characters alive.

1 person found this helpful