The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
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... show more
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).
Publish date: June 1st 2010
Pages no: 230
Edition language: English
I first heard about this book while listening to the now-defunct Books on the Nightstand podcast. It was Ann Kingman's recommendation, and I've found her recs to be hit/miss for me, but she was so enthusiastic about it that I put it on my TBR, then promptly put off reading it for almost a decade. I ...
This is one of three books I've read recently that does not use quotation marks. WHY?? It's so confusing! Especially when the author also breaks the rule of starting a new paragraph when a new person talks and has two people talking, without quotation marks, in the same paragraph! Argh! Stop doing t...
3.5 stars rounded down. Not sure what to say about this book. The writing was fine; the story was interesting (but strangely, disappointingly, predictable). I don't read a lot of sci-fi and the mystical parts were interesting concepts. I'm really not sure why I didn't like this book more.
THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE, BY AIMEE BENDEROne of my best friends recommended this one to me, a (really) long time ago. She warned me it was "a bit pretentious", but she still enjoyed it. Maybe it was the warning about pretentiousness that put me off reading it for so long, but I thought i...
Oh, what a disappointment of a book. In addition to aggravating formatting issues (lack of quotation marks without a very good reason is always an annoyance), this book had a serious case of plot ambivalence. I wish Bender had just made up her mind about what she wanted her book to be. Is it a full-...