The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Aimee Bender, 2010

When Rose is 9, she develops an ability to sense emotions through food. The first and most lasting effect is that she discovers how thoroughly unhappy her mother is.

About two-thirds of the way through this novel I was thinking, yeah, I should give literary fiction a chance more often. Then I finished the novel.

The ending isn't bad, per se. It's just not much of an ending in my opinion. It kind of ties up the plot, sort of. But it's just not satisfying.

I found this frustrating because I was enjoying the book. It straddles that line between literary fiction and magical realism. I would call it fantasy but those who sell books and look down on genres wouldn't.

Rose struggles with her relationships with her family throughout, partially through her talent and partially not. It's a book about a group of people who are technically a family, but they are each traveling in their very separate lives. The descriptions of emotion are very realistic, and the whole book is just so sad.

Again, it's very well done, but I'm left not necessarily the better for having read it.

3 Stars - A Good Book


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