I wanted a guaranteed feel-good type of book to read so I turned to my bookcase and selected Jeanne Ray’s Eat Cake. I vaguely remembered the storyline, so I knew I would enjoy re-visiting these characters. What I hadn’t anticipated was just how much I enjoyed the book, and how much I learned from it.
Here are a few passages that really resonated with me:
“Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue with turning down dessert. There is always one person at the table who holds up her hand when I serve the cake. But that isn’t a person with discipline, that is a person who has completely lost touch with joy. A slice of cake never made anybody fat. You don’t eat the whole cake. You don’t eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that’s safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what’s served on the happiest days of your life.”
“My mother was a teacher, and when I say that, I don’t simply mean it was the way she made her living. She was a teacher in her soul and found that inside every action there was the opportunity for instruction.”
“Nobody likes to think they need to be rescued and everybody is grateful when it happens.”
“It was worth everything, that moment, that song. It did the very thing that music can do when it is at its best: It elevated us and healed us and showed us how to be our better selves.”
“I never knew that people could be afraid of good news too. I realized that good news took you places you didn’t know anything about. It changed everything as much as bad news did.”
“Everything changes. Sometimes when your life has been going along the same way for a long time you can forget that. You think that every day is going to be the same, that everyone will come home for dinner, that we will be safe, that life will roll along. Sometimes the changes are the kind you can’t do anything about: Someone gets sick, someone dies, and you look back on the past and think, Those were the days of my happy life. But other times things change and all you have to do is find a way to change with them. It’s when you stay in exactly the same spot when everything around you is moving that you really get into trouble. You still have a chance if you’re willing to run fast enough, if you’re willing to forget everything that you were absolutely positive was true and learn to see the world in a different way.”