Avon, May 18 2010, $13.99
Though they recently seen her (see Christmas Cake), the ladies of Hope Springs, North Carolina miss their former pastor and close friend Charlotte Stewart since she moved to New Mexico to run a battered women’s shelter. Charlotte has doubts about committing to her boyfriend because she fears she will end up just like the women who stay here; likewise she misses her Tar Heel buddies.
Meanwhile in North Carolina, Jessie and James Wilkins instead of renewing their vows have separated. Busybody Beatrice Witherspoon tries to intervene though she changes her objective when she learns her daughter is engaged and serendipitously sending out invites. Finally, lesbian Louise Fisher accepts a wedding proposal from the widower of recently deceased best BFF Margaret.
The fifth Hope Springs Ladies cake series (see The Friendship Cake) is an engaging celebration of friendship and camaraderie although it lacks the tear jerker poignancy of the last tale (see Christmas Cake). The story line is character driven with a charming throwback feel to a less complicated time. Although perhaps too fluffy, fans will not care as we celebrate the latest slice of hope springs eternal life filled with best buddies and recipes.