The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

by Aimee Bender

I was drawn to this book for two reasons:
1. There is a picture of a slice of cake on the cover.
2. I also feel sad when eating lemon cake, because it is not chocolate cake.

All kidding aside, this book was something special. It make me think a lot about food and familial relationships, and about how the two are linked. 

"I could taste the chocolate, but in drifts and traces, it seemed that my mouth was also filling with the taste of smallness, of upset, tasted a crowded sense of her thinking"

Bender tells a very unusual story about Rose and her "gift". Eight-year-old Rose is able to taste the emotions felt by the person who makes the food that she eats. As she matures, she is also able to discern the location where the plants or livestock were raised.

Due to her ability, Rose learns an immense amount of information about her mother.  She learns of her mother's unhappiness in her marriage and, later, of her affair. She learns about her older brother, who has one friend and his own unique gift. 

Rose does not see her ability as a gift. She is tormented by the secrets she learns, and is unable to explain how she learns them. She turns to factory-processed food in packages as a refuge.

I thought that this book was intriguing. What would my food say if it could speak to me? Would I still enjoy eating a piece of cake if I knew how the baker was feeling when he or she baked it? What would I learn about my own family's inner thoughts and emotions?

♥ Meg xoxo

No comments:

Post a Comment