Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

I am not quite sure what I was expecting when I picked up The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. It was one of those rare occasions when I had heard a lot about a book without actually hearing what it is about. Sure, I knew the very basic premise, but I didn't have a predisposed notion of what I was getting into when I delved into its pages. Even after reading it, I can't peg it into a certain genre for you.

Rose is nine years old when she develops the ability to taste people's feelings in the food that they prepare. The feelings she experiences are almost never good and eating becomes difficult. The book takes us through the twists and turns of Rose's relationships with her family and friends and what she learns of them as they cook for her.

This certainly isn't an uplifting story, although it isn't the kind of depressing that takes you down with it. I walked away from The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake feeling a little blank, but mostly wondering what Rose would taste in my food.

All in all, I thought it was a good book. I enjoyed how Bender mixed descriptions of food with the raw emotion that Rose drowned in with each bite. There are some books that get better as you let them stew in your thoughts and I think this is one of them.