Tuesday, September 13, 2011

THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE by Aimee Bender

From Goodreads:


On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the slice. To her horror, she finds that her cheerful mother tastes of despair. Soon, she’s  privy to the secret knowledge that most families keep hidden: her father’s detachment, her mother’s transgression, her brother’s increasing retreat from the world. But there are some family secrets that even her cursed taste buds can’t discern.


the Afterglow:


I'm glowing with grief and sucker-punched distraught right now.


Just like Rose's curse-gift of being overcome by the emotions of a dish's cook, this book infects you with its emotion.  I spent the majority of it depressed.  And that's exactly what a good book does - it moves you to feel what it wants you to, whether it feels good or not.


In between the heartache, I swooned over the prose.  This woman can turn a phrase.  It's sick, really.  It makes other writers wonder how we'd ever come up with something as brilliant, and give up before we even bother trying.


Just like with Bumped, the ending was such a disgusting knock-out, it erased all sins of pretentiousness that literary fiction commits.


If you want to revel in language, hurt for a week (or however long it takes you to read), and then wander in a lost, aching daze, read this book immediately.  


Recommended for: lovers of magical realism woven in dreamy prose, a la Alice Hoffman.


** Oh I forgot to add:  I LOVE books set in L.A.  We're such an anti-intellectual town (hey, it's true) that when literature - even trashy reads - showcase us, they always get it spot on.

8 comments:

  1. What an interesting concept for a story. Thanks for the tip :)

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  2. I don't usually read books with such a young protagonist but it does have a nice premise.

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  3. *slight detail spoiler*

    Rose actually grows up into adulthood throughout the course of the book, so you won't be stuck in childhood with her. :)

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  4. I'm intrigued by the magical realism. I might try it. Thanks for the review.

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  5. I'm currently devouring this book! It's so sad, powerful, beautiful, captivating! I can't stop talking about it!! It's that utterly fabulous.

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  6. Such a great post! Love visiting your blog!

    Lola x
    http://lola-x.blogspot.com

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  7. I love the comment you left on Firelight... I also stay away from reading the cover synopsis or the ones on GoodReads. I like to be surprised, good or bad.

    Black Disaster Fairy

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  8. Well I am a total sucker for prose. But I might have to gear up to be this depressed after reading! *adds it to my TBR*

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