Monday, August 13, 2012

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Book:  The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Author:  Aimee Bender
Like/Don't Like:  Mmmm...lemon cake.  Oh, wait, yes.  I liked it.

It took me a bit to form a solid enough opinion on this novel before writing anything and I've decided that I liked it.  Even though I felt uncomfortable through the whole thing. 

Rose is about 9 when she realizes that she can taste emotions in the food that people cook for her.  It starts with her mother's despair and her brothers confusion.  And this starts a lifetime of trying to avoid anything but food that is made in a factory because she can't process all the bad emotions that others struggle with and hide.  It was a pretty interesting premise.  But her family was so awkward.  I cringed every time they would have a conversation because they just had no idea how to communicate.  So the whole time I was reading it I just wanted to yell, "Will someone just give this girl a hug!"

The bulk of the blame goes to the author for this very drawn out style of writing.  A conversation of just a few sentences could last pages and pages because she kept interrupting with thoughts.  And that's a fine technique but it felt overplayed at times.  Also, it felt a little sloppy at places, like time had no meaning.  But I cannot deny that the story lingered with me long after I finished.  I think she captured the confusion and fear in Rose nicely.  Overall it was a good read.

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