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.