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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review Aimee Bender - The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

When one has no access to getting books and when you love books as I do, reading about delicious books is a tough thing to live with!!! With avery luscious cake on the cover (lemon chocolate to be precise) and even more delicious reviews pouring in on lots of blogs this was a book I was very keen to read.

Food can be tough for lots of people (I know!) I wish I didnt like it as much as I did then half my problems would be sorted out. In this case however food actually imperils 8 year old Rose - a carefree, normal spirited girl with a "nice family" who thought the world was normal and her family even more so. On her 8th birthday when her mother made her a cake - the lemon chocolate cake mentioned before - she for the first time realized a magical gift she possessed. The ability to taste emotions in the food she ate - the feelings of the person who made the food. In this case it was desperation and despair. From that moment on for Rose food was something to be avoided at all costs, particularly home cooked food.

As time progresses it becomes for Rose a curse - her mother's extra marital affair, her father's curious detachment and the fact that her brother Joseph is not quite right but not something you can put a finger on precisely. More of the magic there as well?

As a child Rose is someone who was born old - she knows it is falling on her shoulders to keep the family together as much as she could. Despite tasting her mother's dilemma Rose keeps it a secret from anyone else. Despite all the care and love Rose showers on her mother, her mother's first love is her son Joseph and her mother has no hesitation in openly showing this. Rose shows no resentment but is sad because her mother she knows is destined for more sorrow where Joseph is concerned. When Joseph starts disappearing the family disintegrates.

The story ends with Rose in her early twenties trying to use her talent in a way that could help others. Rose is finally happier than she ever was and I was glad for it. The girl had to face far too much responsibility on her own. Everyone in her family was in their little coccoon and no one cared how Rose was faring because she put a good face on everything.

The story was a bit peculiar but I liked it!


  1. I thought of you while traveling, I was trying to buy a good book to read and tried so hard to remember the ones you suggested...and was so wishing that I had a computer access at that time to check your blog.....thanks for all the info.

  2. I have a review coming up of this one too. I thought it was so sad, especially about Joseph! But I loved the premise. I would like to see someone do a sort of happy romance using the same premise. I guess that wouldn't be as impressive in a literary sense, but I would feel better at the end! :--)

  3. I've been avoiding this one but maybe I'll go ahead and give it a try. Sounds really different. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and thanks for visiting my blog!

  4. I didn't love this one as much as I'd hoped - too many loose ends! I'm glad you liked it though.

  5. I have this on my list. I am glad you enjoyed it. :)

  6. Ivw read one Bender book and really liked it. Also peculiar, but good.