Friday, 12 October 2012

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cakes - Aimee Bender


On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, 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 cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose. 
The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern. 



Usually I am attracted to books because of there cover but this time the cover played no part in my choice. The reason why I chose this book was because of its title, i mean come on it's pure genius. Who the hell doesn't want to read a book with such an intriguing title.

At the heart of this book, it's really a family story. It is told in retrospect by Rose Edelsteine,the protagonist of the book. I really love Rose's voice, not only was she smart but she has a way of patching bits of the story together even when the evens took place years apart.

Despite Rose's awesome power (the ability to taste people's emotions through their cooking) the story is not about that but it's about the family and the secrets they all keep. This story started out extremely promising, I was totally engrossed but around half way through the book it comes to a grinding stop of a sort where nothing really happens. At that point I was going to stop reading but the mystery of what next pushed me through until the end.

To be honest nothing really happens in this book, there are no adventures or star-crossed lovers or even anything that remotely gets your pulse kicking. Its just a story of a family who keep a facade of happiness and a girl who is forced to conform to that picture even when she knows that things aren't always as positive as they pretend to be.

The verdict

I am sort of divided about the book, in one had I love the fact that this is not some elaborate tale of time travel or yet another dystopian book because it makes the whole book seem more believable but at the same time I am slightly disappointing that it didn't really live up to my expectations.

Overall

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.  

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