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Interesting,
Pointless,
Confusing

30 reviews

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel
by Aimee Bender

Published: 2010-06-01
Hardcover : 292 pages
35 members reading this now
27 clubs reading this now
17 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 12 of 30 members
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 ...
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Introduction

(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).

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Why do you think Rose is unable or unwilling to tell anyone the details of her brother's disappearances?
by bookclubber (see profile) 05/25/11

http://www.litlovers.com/guide_particular_sadness_lemon_cake.html
by Bak8382 (see profile) 07/26/10

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Food
by bookclubber (see profile) 05/25/11
Well, definitely serve lemon cake if possible! As an "activity" the group could "taste test" some foods -- maybe have a contest to see who can guess which food items are homemade & which are from the frozen food section.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "I didn't get it."by lhadams (see profile) 01/23/13

I kept reading in hopes to tie all the loose ends and resolve mysteries and unanswered questions. I was left hanging in confusion. I just didn't get the point.

 
  "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake"by ghauser (see profile) 08/01/11

 
  "Great Premise, A Little Disappointing"by monoel (see profile) 07/25/11

I love the premise for this book but was a little disappointed in the actual book. To me food does hold so much emotion and passion I could imagine having this type of talent to be able to feel the emotion... (read more)

 
  "Interesting , Sad, Different !"by biscuits&cookies (see profile) 07/09/11

Most of us, were pleasantly surprise that we liked the book. We all agreed that we enjoyed the way the author would " turn a phrase ".
Everyone had something to say about the characters and
... (read more)

 
  "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake"by bookclubber (see profile) 05/25/11

I really enjoyed this -- magical realism is becoming a favorite genre of mine. It is a bit darker than Sarah Addison Allen's books, but maybe a bit more believable because of that. The characters struggle... (read more)

 
  "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel"by thomas3 (see profile) 05/18/11

 
  "The Particular Sadness of a Lemon Cake: A Novel"by moreyea (see profile) 05/18/11

 
  "The Particular Sadness of Lemon cake"by cashields (see profile) 05/18/11

Weird. There were several themes which had potential but they weren't developed.

 
  "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake"by dwenzel (see profile) 05/17/11

It may be classified as "mystical realism", but it was too weird for our club's liking.

 
  "Weird"by PRBurke (see profile) 04/21/11

This book was strange.

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