Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender.

He pressed the mute button, and the room filled with sound. Horns, voice-overs, snatches of songs. It was like we were exchanging codes, on how to be a father and a daughter, like we'd read about it in a manual, translated from another language, and were doing our best with what we could understand.

This book is about Rose, a young girl who has a unique talent: she can taste people's feelings in the food that they make. The first time this happens to her, when she is nine, she can taste desperation and unhappiness in her mother's cooking; and from then on, she is unable to eat it. She eventually learns ways to make eating more pleasurable for herself (mostly eating junk food that is made at plants where no humans touch it), but as the years go on, she must figure out what to do with the information she receives this way about others.

The book was interesting, although there is a side plot with her brother that was a bit confusing to me. Rose's talent is definitely not one I would like to have, and I found it interesting when she actually cooked for herself one time; she did not like eating her own food at all either, as it revealed to her what emotions she was feeling.

3.5 stars out of 5.


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