Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

“I knew if I ate anything of hers again, it would likely tell me the same message: help me, I am not happy, help me -- like a message in a bottle sent in each meal to the eater, and I got it. I got the message.” 

 Rose Edelstein has a very unusual talent. When she eats anything, she can taste the feelings of whomever cooked or baked the item. The first time this happened to her, she took a bite of a delicious lemon cake her mother baked and tasted sadness and longing. She begins to dread eating because she never knows what she will discover when she tastes the food. Rose's family isn't what it seems. Her entire family has secrets they don't want to share.

This book mixes magic and realism. Bender's writing is so beautiful I wanted to read slowly and savor the language. This is an adult book, but I first read it when an eighth grade student recommended it and I think mature eighth graders (especially girls) would enjoy it.

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