The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
By Aimee Bender
Doubleday, 2010. 292 pgs. Fiction
To celebrate her ninth birthday, Rose’s mother prepares a lemon cake. Her first bite becomes a turning point in Rose’s young life as she discovers her ability to taste the emotions of whoever prepares her food. This seemingly whimsical gift is immediately identified as a horrible curse as she tastes her mother’s dissatisfaction with life. Slowly, Rose learns to deal with these unwanted and sometimes unbearable revelations into the deepest feelings of friends, family, and strangers.
Bender is an amazing writer. Her phrasing and word selection make this book a joy to read. That said, this is one of those books that leaves you unsure of your feelings about the story or the characters. I am pretty sure I liked it but I have no doubt I will be thinking about it for a long time to come.