My Thoughs on The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

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This book is growing on me the further that I get away from it. Not that I want to read it again, but I am glad that I finished it.

At first I thought that this book was suffering from a serious identification crisis. The cover summary makes it sound light and fun — a girl discovers that when she eats she can sense the feelings of the person who prepared the meal. And the longer the meal took to make, the more intense the emotion.

So when Rose bites into a piece of lemon cake and can feel the intense depression of her mother, it really upsets her. She begins to wipe off her tongue with a napkin, trying to get rid of the feelings.

It affects her so deeply that she even ends up in the hospital for a little while.

This is all weird enough (I expected it to be light and fun — like the movie Chocolat) but then Rose’s brother starts disappearing. Not too big of a deal — he has his own door to the outside of the house. But it will soon get really weird.

And then one day Rose eats something her Mom made for dinner and can feel the guilt mingled with happiness — her Mom is having an affair.

The family just keeps spiraling downward, and I kept looking at this book thinking, isn’t this supposed to be light and interesting?

I feel that the book was saved by the ending. Rose has a conversation with her Dad when she gets back from a trip, and things start falling into place. I stopped looking for other things in this book and just accepted this book for what it was — an interesting read, really sad, but with a strong and good plot. I am not sure why she told her Dad what she did about her brother — you never know. As long as she kept the chair???


3 thoughts on “My Thoughs on The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

    Tara Williams Gruwell said:
    January 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    no sad books for me. It sounds like a really interesting idea.

    tina said:
    January 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Did you read the chair section over and over? I couldn’t figure out what was going on . . . . still don’t know!

    At first I didn’t really care so much for the book . . . . then couldn’t set it down . . . .

    It was a great book club book!

    LeeAnn Volk said:
    January 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    A very interesting read for sure. I often wonder how in the world do people think this type of stuff up and then make it readable?!?

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