Fiction · Sadie J

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake | by Aimee Bender

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
(Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2010, 304 pages)

Rose is a perfectly normal girl until the night before her ninth birthday when she discovers that she can taste her mother’s emotions through her homemade lemon-chocolate cake. As the days go by, Rose can start tasting anyone’s emotions in anything they cook and then is burdened with all their hidden feelings such as resentment, anger, and loneliness. She quickly learns to keep her secret mostly to herself because it is such an unusual thing to be able to do. Rose starts to notice how different each member of her family is; her father will never go into a hospital, her brother distances himself from people so much it’s as if he’s not there at all, and her mother can keep a secret from anyone unless it’s revealed to Rose through her cooking. So maybe Rose’s secret isn’t that weird at all.

This is a weird book. There were times when I kept asking myself what the point of all of it was. I’m glad I finished it though because in the end, everything made sense. The story is very different from things I’ve read before but Bender has a vivid imagination which is what got me to the end of the book.

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