The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACategory: Contemporary Fiction, Magical Realism
Rating: 3.5/5
Author: Aimee Bender

This is the first book by Aimee Bender that I have read. This focuses on Rose, a young girl who has a fairly ‘normal’ family at the beginning of this book but then she starts to taste emotions within the food which her mother is cooking for the family. The story revolves around the complications this magical skill brings into her life and how she copes with the family secrets that slowly begin to unravel.

This book has very mixed reviews on Goodreads and I think that is because it is very very different, almost bizarre in many aspects. The conversations aren’t in quotes which might annoy some reads as its harder to follow. The characters in this story are also kept at a distance and I actually didn’t quite connect with any character deeply. While I normally prefer stories with detailed characterisation, in this book I felt the strength of it was in the way the story carried itself. Aimee Bender’s writing is so lyrical and absolutely beautiful. There were several sections I re-read simply because it was so beautifully written. The way she describes emotions is so raw and genuine that it had a very lasting impact on me. It’s the kind of book that I would keep revisiting in my mind. It definitely was a very enjoyable read for me and I can’t wait to read more of Aimee Bender’s work.

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