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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Book Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Title: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Author: Aimee Bender
Format Reviewed: print
The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse.

On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.

The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is a luminous tale about the enormous difficulty of loving someone fully when you know too much about them. It is heartbreaking and funny, wise and sad, and confirms Aimee Bender’s place as “a writer who makes you grateful for the very existence of language” (San Francisco Chronicle)

My Review: 
Rose has a talent....well, possibly a curse. As a young girl she discovers that she can tell how people are feeling when eating the food they have cooked. Are they sad, in love, hallow?

Rose's family is a calm and un-dramatic family. Nothing is ever wrong. Things just move forward. How is it when only you can tell that things are wrong when everyone around you doesn't have even a small clue?

This is a very deep novel and may not be for everyone. But I completely enjoyed it. This book allowed me to drift away from my life and into someone else's. Someone who has more complications than I do. It makes you grateful to be you when you close the book and enter back into your own reality.

Do note this book is written differently. It's not one of your traditional dialog books. It is an untraditional narrative and I think that's one of the things that made it even more appealing. When you read a lot, different is sometimes very good.

Rating: 4/5

Details/Disclaimer: Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.

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