Book Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
I was not sure what to expect when I picked this book up. The premise is fascinating; a young girl finds herself with the horrible ability to taste the emotions of the person preparing her food. She learns far more than a nine year old should ever need to cope with. Her mother’s fears and insecurities, her father’s distraction, her brother’s constant annoyance and growing distance, and down to the people who picked and packaged the ingredients.
As she grows up the talent does not go away, and her family life gets more complex. Her brother, a genius, becomes more and more withdrawn, until he simply just is not there anymore.
Anything more travels into spoilers. This book is bizarre, emotional, and oddly compelling. When I reached the last page, I felt achy and hopeful by turns. Yet, I do not know if I enjoyed it. It did not ever feel as if the story was ever over, or as if the story ever really went far. The question I’m dealing with is, “Does a story need to go far to be good?”
I do not have an answer for that one yet. But I do suggest checking this book out.