The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jun 1, 2010 - Fiction - 288 pages
144 Reviews
The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse.

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.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is a luminous tale about the enormous difficulty of loving someone fully when you know too much about them. It is heartbreaking and funny, wise and sad, and confirms Aimee Bender’s place as “a writer who makes you grateful for the very existence of language” (San Francisco Chronicle).

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Aimee Bender's The Color Master.
 

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User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

Audio book read by the author When Rose Edelstein takes a bite of the lemon cake with chocolate frosting (her favorite) that her mother made for her ninth birthday she is suddenly overwhelmed with a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MCHBurke - LibraryThing

I will admit to being drawn to some books because of the title, and this is a particularly intriguing one. The story, in contrast, I found uncompelling, and had to push myself to finish. Some books ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Aimee Bender is the author of the novels The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake—a New York Times bestseller—and An Invisible Sign of My Own, and of the collections The Girl in the Flammable Skirt and Willful Creatures. Her works have been widely anthologized and have been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in Los Angeles.

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