Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

For my second read in September I read, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.  The story begins when nine year old Rose Edelstein discovers she has a secret gift (or curse?) of being able to taste people's feelings in the food they cook.  This secret allows her to learn much more about her family, friends and world than she really wants to know.

I'm giving this book a bit of a mixed review.  I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.  It's a bit of fantasy mixed with realism, which made it hard for me to really enjoy.  Rose deals with real life issues, but the way in which she discovers them is strange.  Her family while seeming normal is quite flawed, which is never really addressed and I found frustrating.  Her brother is a main character whom we don't really get a sense of until the book is nearly finished.  Parts of the story felt undone to me and there was a lack of character development.

I'm also going to have to go all punctuation police and point out there are no quotation marks on any of the dialogue.  Sometimes whole conversations feel wrapped confusingly into a paragraph that you have to re-read to figure out what was said and what was thought.

I did like the character of Rose, she is interesting and despite her gift, often relatable.  We follow her character from age nine to twenty-two, so it's kind of neat to grow up with her and see what happens to her character over time.

Overall, I don't think I would have read this book had I known it's style before hand.  It just wasn't my cup of tea.  However, if you like fantasy mixed with realism and dash of bummer you might like it.

1 comment:

  1. "fantasy mixed with realism and dash of bummer"
    Perfect description.
    This book took me awhile to read because my mind would wander to grocery lists, etc.