bookspacePhoto of readermy comments
 home > bookspace > my comments > comment: the particular sadness of lemon cake : a novel /
Subscribe via RSS 
The particular sadness of lemon cake : a novel
Aimee Bender
Adult Fiction BENDER

Comments  Summary  Excerpt  Reviews  Author Notes

From Publishers' Weekly:

Taking her very personal brand of pessimistic magical realism to new heights (or depths), Bender's second novel (following An Invisible Sign of My Own) careens splendidly through an obstacle course of pathological, fantastical neuroses. Bender's narrator is young, needy Rose Edelstein, who can literally taste the emotions of whoever prepares her food, giving her unwanted insight into other people's secret emotional lives-including her mother's, whose lemon cake betrays a deep dissatisfaction. Rose's father and brother also possess odd gifts, the implications of which Bender explores with a loving and detailed eye while following Rose from third grade through adulthood. Bender has been called a fabulist, but emerges as more a spelunker of the human soul; carefully burrowing through her characters' layered disorders and abilities, Bender plumbs an emotionally crippled family with power and authenticity. Though Rose's gift can seem superfluous at times, and Bender's gustative insights don't have the sensual potency readers might crave, this coming-of-age story makes a bittersweet dish, brimming with a zesty, beguiling talent. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Rose Edelstein is nearly nine when she first tastes her mother's feelings baked into a slice of birthday cake. Her "mouth was filling up with the taste of smallness.of upset." Meals become an agony for Rose, and she subsists on junk food from the school vending machine. When her mother begins an affair, Rose can taste that, too. Her brilliant older brother, Joseph, seems to have some type of autism spectrum disorder, though it is never named. Rose grows up and manages what she now considers her food skill, discerning not only the city of production but also the personality and temperament of the growers and pickers. She also draws closer to her father, finally understanding his prepossessions. This is an unusual family, even by California standards. VERDICT Bender (Willful Creatures) deconstructs one of our most pleasurable activities, eating, and gives it a whole new flavor. She smooths out the lumps and grittiness of life to reveal its zest. Highly recommended for readers with sophisticated palates. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/10; online reading group guide and eight-city tour.]-Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Question about returns, requests or other account details?
 Add a Comment
Submission Guidelines

Find this title in the Library Catalog
Find this title in the Library Catalog


more titles about

main characters Rose Edelstein
Female
Able to taste the emotions of whoever prepares her food which gives her unwanted insight into people's secret lives.



recent comments
hcl mobile app
hclib
mobile
app
Facebook Twitter Tumblr YouTube Vimeo Flickr Federal Depository Library Federal
Depository
Library
Hennepin County Government Hennepin
County
Government
© 2014  Hennepin County Library12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305 Comments and Feedback    |    RSS