Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
I read an ARC of this book, and it is the first book I’ve read by author Aimee Bender.
Nine year old Rose discovers she has an unusual “gift” – she can taste the emotions of others through the food they prepare. This is particularly disturbing when she eats her mother’s food and feels her sadness and despair.
Rose undergoes experiments on her own to try to control her talent and avoid eating her mother’s cooking if possible.
It is sad and unsettling to read about the emotions that Rose tastes through food, but overall it is a quirky enough story to not be depressing. She learns some coping mechanisms to handle her gift along the way.
This book is a very eccentric and original tale. It is not for everyone. One aspect that makes the book a little challenging to read is that the author does not use quotation marks. This makes it difficult to differentiate thoughts from dialogue and sometimes I had to re-read a passage several times to get it.
The most difficult plot point for me to get through was about Rose’s brother Joseph, who is going through his own issues. This point in the book was a little too bizarre and disturbing for me.
Overall I found this book to be entertaining and creative, and definitely something different than my usual reads. Recommended for those who enjoy magical realism or are looking for something new.