Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

.... by Aimee Bender

This one came in on from the library for my kobo last week. I read it in a few days. I enjoyed it. The main character is a little girl, Rose. The story starts with her mom making her a lemon cake for her 9th birthday. Rose tastes the cake, and it tastes bad. But her whole family - mom, dad, older brother (Joseph)- all love the cake. Rose then realizes, it's not that the cake is bad, but it is sad.

As the book goes on, Rose's relationship with her family is looked at a bit more intensely. Her dad is distant, he seems cold and hard to reach. Their moments are when they watch a TV show together as she does her homework next to him on the couch while he works on his paperwork. Her mom, she discovers, is sad and was the reason the cake tasted sad. Rose seems to take on a bit of a mothering role to her mom. Her brother, well, he barely even seems to be present. Rose has a closer relationship with his best friend, George.

As Rose grows into a young woman, she learns to deal with her ability to taste the feelings of the person who made her food. She turns to vending machines and highly processed foods. The less interaction her food has had with a person, the better.

The book ends with Rose in her early twenties, and seems to come around to better relationships with her family members. She seems to understand them, and is able to open up to them a bit more than as a child. She learns to accept her special gift and try to make the best of it.

I liked the oddness of this story line, the way that all the characters interacted or didn't interact. It was an entertaining read.

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