Bender, Aimee The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Doubleday see Random 2010 292p 25.95
978-0-385-50112-5 hs/adult VG
This novel follows Rose from age nine to adulthood. Rose can feel the emotions of the people who have made the food she eats. This gift or curse directs her life as she learns more than she wants to know about her dysfunctional family and the sadness of their lives. This novel, set in Los Angeles, follows Rose from age nine to adulthood. At the age of nine, she discovers that she is able to feel the emotions of the people who have made the food she eats. She learns that her mother is unhappy in their dysfunctional family and Rose can sense her mother’s affair. Rose’s older brother, Joseph, seems to have Asberger’s syndrome, a type of high functioning autism, yet this is never actually labeled in the book. Joseph eventually disappears under weird circumstances and Rose is the only one who knows how and what has happened. Rose ultimately learns that her brother and father, as well as the grandfather she never knew also had gifts or rather curses like she does, but she accepts them, faults and all. The characters are richly drawn, especially Joseph’s best friend George, whom Rose adores. The story meanders through Rose’s life as she reaches adulthood and one never knows what is real and what is part of Rose’s neuroses. This title concludes with a charming yet haunting ending that leaves the reader wondering what has been revealed. The writing is fluid and insightful.
This book might interest readers who like books by Alice Hoffman and will be a very good addition to high school libraries. Weinraub(2), Tina