Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Title The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
By Aimee Bender
For Fun
Source Library

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.

General thoughts
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 He was so withdrawn and tortured and I never truly felt like I got enough info on him.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.

Hey, Don't forget to enter my giveaway! Click HERE.  It ends Saturday July 2nd.


  1. OK so I read it. Weird, unsettling, interesting. Rose seemed to handle things better than other characters but the only real conclusion I came to was I really wanted a piece of Lemon cake with chocolate frosting.

  2. Not just you. When I finished reading this one, I had a hard time finding positive things to say about it. Probably the least good book I've read in a while.

  3. This sounds like it could be interesting... Sometimes I like a book that makes me think, even when it's kind of a downer. I'll have to pick it up after I've read some happy fluff. :)

  4. Techno Grandma, Yes, that picture on the tortured me the entire time I was reading.

    Dana, I wouldn't full out say I hated it but it was definitely not the best book I've ever read, not by a long shot.

    Kathy, That's exactly why I did enjoy it. Sometimes I need a thought provoking book after a bunch of fluffy books. Even if the thought provoked was, what the heck?! ;)

  5. I so want to read this one– despite not so good reviews on it. That cover really makes my mouth water...GAH, now I'm hungry. Nice Review :D

  6. iLuvReadingTooMuch, I know, doesn't the cover make you so hungry?! I would definitely recommend it. I don't think you'll regret it.

  7. OK, everybody--my house 4:00! We'll make lemon cake while Jenny vacuums the pool and then all go swimming;D

  8. Techno Grandma, Ha Ha, mom, real funny!