Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
By Aimee Bender
First Line It happened for the first time on a Tuesday afternoon, a warm spring day in the flatlands near Hollywood, a light breeze moving east from the ocean and stirring the black-eyed pansy petals newly planted in our flower boxes.
It starts when she turns nine, Rose takes a bite of her mothers homemade lemon cake and can taste her mother's emotions. For the rest of her life food becomes a burden.
I honestly have no idea what to say about this one. The writing was beautiful and oddly soothing, but the story...hmmm, I don't know! It was OK, a little sad, a little hopeful, and had an interesting moral but does that mean I liked it? I still don't know. I thought if I gave it a few days I'd be able to decide but it's just not coming. Well, at least it go me thinking. It was much deeper than some things I read and for that I enjoyed it, well, that and the writing; that soothing calming writing that pulled me in and kept me reading till the end.
Rose was an interesting narrator, her voice and her description was easy to read and beautiful. In the end the decisions she made had me content and fulfilled but what about the other characters? Joseph, Rose's brother, is probably the biggest enigma I've ever know. I think that's half the reason I don't know what to think of the whole book. He was so withdrawn and tortured and I never truly felt like I got enough info on him. Rose's parents were layers deep! Her mother was so desperately unfulfilled and I'm sure it was from her upbringing but it was never really explained and that had me wondering if I even liked her. Through Rose I could like her but on her own? No, I don't think so. At least with Rose's father there was some explanation and closure at the end but I couldn't admire his cowardice. And then there was George. Sigh! I truly loved this kind caring good listener. What more can I say? He was beautifully human but a kinder gentler human.
Would I recommend it?
Yes, for the beautiful soothing writing and the thought provoking storyline, but be warned, it's a little depressing and confusing, but maybe that was just me.
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