Free ePUB The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Avengersinfinitywarfullmovie.de

The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curseOn 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


10 thoughts on “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

  1. TK421 TK421 says:

    THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Every so often a book comes along that creates a divisive turmoil in me Sometimes these books make me angry sometimes they make me shake my head in wonder as to why exactly I read it sometimes it takes months for me to really understand just how impactful the book was to me, which helps clear some of the fog or guilt or happiness or sadness or whatever I felt while reading it THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE is such a book Let me first say that this THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Every so often a book comes along that creates a divisive turmoil in me Sometimes these books make me angry sometimes they make me shake my head in wonder as to why exactly I read it sometimes it takes months for me to really understand just how impactful the book was to me, which helps clear some of the fog or guilt or happiness or sadness or whatever I felt while reading it THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE is such a book Let me first say that this is my first Aimee Bender experience, and though I will rant and rave about certain issues I had with the book, I willthan likely seek out other works by her Ultimately, this novel is about family, and the peccadilloes and quirky aspects of being a part of a family Normally, I love books like these In some way they make me feel as if my family was normal Rose Edelstein receives on her ninth birthday a gift that isakin to a curse she is given the ability to taste what people feel through whatever food they have created Loneliness Despair Happiness Sadness Guilt Hate Anger Embarrassment Preoccupation Whatever the person was feeling comes alive on her taste buds At first, Rose finds this newly found talent as a burdensome weight, who wouldn t at nine years old She tries to tell her brother, Joseph, a neurotic science obsessed teenager, but gets nowhere in the process We ll discuss Joseph in a few minutes What she does find in telling Joseph is a refuge in Joseph s best friend George, an equally neurotic science obsessed teenager, but one that is routed firmly in reality Together, Rose and George, begin to test her abilities by tasting different cookies made at a bakery This part of the book was fun I was eager to know just how Rose s tasting abilities were taking shape and what she would do with her powers Ms Bender had different ideas for me About this time in the narrative, different details about Rose s mother and father begin to take shape Her father has an overpowering fear of hospitals Her mother begins an affair with a guy named Larry These aspects are touched upon routinely within the narrative, but they are never fully given the pages needed in my opinion to fully blossom Simple one line explanations are tacked on as if in an afterthought, which detracts from what the real storyline seems to be Why exactly does Rose feel that her family is crumbling like one of the dry chocolate chip cookies she ate at the bakery Again, we ll come back to this in a moment Life continues for Rose and her family Her power continues to grow During this time I found the writing to be beautiful, full of descriptive language that could not only be seen, but could be touched and smelled and, yes, even tasted Through these vivid descriptions, I was able to really empathize with Rose and the others then the wheels came off Chaos ensued Confusion reigned Absurdity elevated its position of court jester to king I read other reviews that stated this novel was a version of magical realism I cannot disagree enough about this assertion Magical realism is somethingthan the absurd mixing with reality It is a powerful style that helps illuminate or criticize certain aspects of society Gabriel Garcia Marquez writes magical realism Salman Rushdie writes magical realism Isabel Allende writes magical realism Jorge Borges wrote magical realism Even Toni Morrison writes in magical realism Having a character turn into a chair, one that can taste people s feelings, and another that can smell what a person is like IS NOT MAGICAL REALISM This is merely a great example of surrealism Or, better yet, science fiction Yes, I said science fiction If science fiction doesn t float your boat, then choose the word fantasy But I am getting off track here My real problem is this A chair That is all that Aimee Bender could come up with Joseph is so depressed, so isolated because of his faux romantic relationship with science that he manipulates his body into a piece of furniture This device, to me, seemed too contrived because of Rose s mother s new hobby of woodworking And the fact that we, the readers, are never given any insight as to why Joseph felt the overpowering need to turn into a piece of furniture gives his power a silly cartoonish quality But the vagueness of Aimee Bender doesn t stop there Why does the affair take place There is nothing to suggest as to why this happens Rose s father seems to be a typical, hard working father He doesn t drink He doesn t beat his family He might be labeled as emotionally distant, but that would only be conjecture on the part of the reader If anything, he seems to be defeated by his wife She is the one that seems to have all the issues She has problems with committing to a career She seems to be constantly living in a world of daydreams and nostalgia Still, these assumptions on my part, do not qualify the affair I think an action of this kind needs to be explained, dissected, poured over within pages, not single sentence add ons that satisfy the objective of not having any loose ends What it comes down to for me is This book seemed unfinished Thought about, but never fully realized Rushed Perhaps I am wrong about all this Perhaps I missed the point I m willing to concede that But I am not willing to concede the fact that there was a very interesting story within these pages that was given a very abrupt, almost casual execution But as I said, time will tell for this novel Perhaps I ll amend my thoughts once time has given me the chance to ruminate, order, or even change them RECOMMENDED with reservations


  2. Miki Miki says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Okay I realize I m not deep, and I can very seldom get the hidden meaning in what I read, but this is ridiculous I can t find a single reason why anyone would read this book.SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILERRose is a young girl who learns that she can taste the emotions of people in the food they cook After some time, she can taste the layers in the food all the way back to where it was produced, for example, she can trace by their taste eggs to the actual county where they were ga Okay I realize I m not deep, and I can very seldom get the hidden meaning in what I read, but this is ridiculous I can t find a single reason why anyone would read this book.SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILERRose is a young girl who learns that she can taste the emotions of people in the food they cook After some time, she can taste the layers in the food all the way back to where it was produced, for example, she can trace by their taste eggs to the actual county where they were gathered, the field where lettuce was grown, and whether the pork chops for dinner came from contented pigs In this way, Rose finds out her mother is sad and empty, to the point she can t eat the food her mother prepares Her father is withdrawn and distant, and her brother is a genius and just plain weird.And that s it Neither Rose nor any member of this family ever finds any kind of resolution Her mother has an affair which Rose finds out about by eating dinner her father is just sort of there, and her brother has a habit of disappearing This, Rose learns, is because he becomes furniture Yes, you read that right He becomes furniture because he can t deal with the real world Sometimes the bed, sometimes the dresser, but mostly one particular folding chair of a card table set Rose marks this chair, and in the final scene asks her brother to from then on only go into that chair so she ll know where he is He promises The END.This book was highly recommended by the library and the book page in the Columbus Dispatch Not me


  3. Jennie Jennie says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here The best thing about this book is the cover I looked at it quite a few times before I realized the shadow wasn t reflecting the cake, but a girl I m guessing the narrator, Rose.Upon first glance and the reading of the synopsis, I m reminded of The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood which I haven t read in years and would like to skim through again.And it was all downhill from there I can t decide if I should go into detail here about how much I disliked this book or not I probably should becaus The best thing about this book is the cover I looked at it quite a few times before I realized the shadow wasn t reflecting the cake, but a girl I m guessing the narrator, Rose.Upon first glance and the reading of the synopsis, I m reminded of The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood which I haven t read in years and would like to skim through again.And it was all downhill from there I can t decide if I should go into detail here about how much I disliked this book or not I probably should because this book is the first read for a new book club I m in and I m worried about sounding like a negative nelly when I first meet these new people I could get out all my bad feelings here But then part of me was thinking, why am I worrying, why can t I go and just be totally honest about how I feel about this book.Rose has the weirdest eating disorder I ve ever heard of she can taste the feelings and true emotions of the person who prepared her food, as well as those who have handled the ingredients One of the things I asked myself immediately was, why doesn t she cook her own food I forgot about this question until I reached the end of the book where she does finally cook and attempt to eat her own food It s hard for her, I guess she was facing her true self I felt like there were so many missed opportunities about the food world There are a few mentions of Rose tasting the exhaustion of strawberry pickers, etc but no attempt to address the vast food problems we face today like fruit pickers, factory farms, and processed food.This book has virtually no setting I have never missed setting so much in a book And listing street names does not count as describing a setting I have no idea what time period this was supposed to take place in I tried to not let it bug me, but it did I guess I focused on it so much because this story was as dry as an overcooked piece of lemon cake It was obviously contemporary, but since there is not a single mention of cell phones, and there are home phones and pay phones, my guess is it could be the 80s or 90s.I felt like so much of this novel was trying to be weird, just for the sake of being weird There were several things that I found intriguing the door installed in Joseph s bedroom, the discarded objects sent to Rose s family from her grandmother, Rose s mother s affair with Larry, Rose s father who detested hospitals so much that he missed out on the birth of both his children But I felt like these things were introduced and then dropped, or not enough attention was paid to them in general they were never fully realized I took notes in the margins in case I have to point to specific examples at book club and I found myself thinking and writing over and over There were whole passages that I just did not understand I kept feeling like I was missing something Speaking of missing things, let s talk about quotation marks Cormac McCarthy can write without quotation marks, but Aimee Bender, you are no Cormac McCarthy I like to think that I have a progressive view of punctuation usage, but it s all over for me if your writing is not clear and I have to read many sentences over and over just to comprehend them Most of the time I was okay with it, but there were enough times that I wasn t, that I feel it s necessary to mention it here.Okay, and the worst part Joseph turns into furniture I felt like I was taking crazy pills Rose s affliction is almost believable especially when we learn that her paternal grandfather suffered from a similar disorder , but turningintofurniture UGHHHH Normally I would have stopped reading this book a long time ago, but it s for book club and, honestly, I kept hoping it would get better, but it never did I literally threw this book across the bed when I finished reading it


  4. Nancy Nancy says:

    Posted at Shelf Inflicted Nine year old Rose Edelstein discovers her gift when she takes a bite out of her mother s lemon cake This gift isof a curse, as Rose becomes privy to her mother s emotional turmoil that is masked by her cheerful and outgoing personality.This quirky novel is certainly not for everyone, and I wasn t quite sure it was for me either, but I quickly got sucked into Rose s life as she discovers family secrets and learnsabout herself When the emotions get too ov Posted at Shelf Inflicted Nine year old Rose Edelstein discovers her gift when she takes a bite out of her mother s lemon cake This gift isof a curse, as Rose becomes privy to her mother s emotional turmoil that is masked by her cheerful and outgoing personality.This quirky novel is certainly not for everyone, and I wasn t quite sure it was for me either, but I quickly got sucked into Rose s life as she discovers family secrets and learnsabout herself When the emotions get too overwhelming for her, Rose resorts to eating as little homemade food as possible As Rose getsaccustomed to her talent, she experiments, explores, and grows Rose is a quiet girl with few friends Her father is a decent man, but he s somewhat distant, and her brother is a loner I can t help but admire her father, who thinks of those who are less fortunate than himselfHe made a good salary but he did not flaunt it He d been raised in Chicago proper by a Lithuanian Jewish mother who had grown up in poverty, telling stories, often, of extending a chicken to its fullest capacity, so as soon as a restaurant served his dish, he would promptly cut it in half and ask for a to go container Portions are too big anyway, he d grumble, patting his waistline He d only give away his food if the corners were cleanly cut, as he believed a homeless person would just feel worse eating food with ragged bitemarks at the edges as if, he said, they are dogs, or bacteria Dignity, he said, lifting his half lasagna into its box, is no detailOverall, I enjoyed this very unusual novel It was not depressing or heavy, but left me with a lingering sadness as I thought about my own childhood


  5. Audrey Audrey says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I loved it I know there are a lot of mixed reviews out there about this novel, but I loved it I have no prior Aimee Bender experience, so I had no expectations going in, btw I thought the writing was lovely and sharp, really one of the best parts of the novel I wasn t bothered by the lack of punctuating dialogue I wasn t bothered by the fact that this was a novel in which things didn t really happen because I think they did They just happened very quietly, as quietly as Joseph turning I loved it I know there are a lot of mixed reviews out there about this novel, but I loved it I have no prior Aimee Bender experience, so I had no expectations going in, btw I thought the writing was lovely and sharp, really one of the best parts of the novel I wasn t bothered by the lack of punctuating dialogue I wasn t bothered by the fact that this was a novel in which things didn t really happen because I think they did They just happened very quietly, as quietly as Joseph turning into a chair Just as much, though, I loved the characters and how they moved through this story trying to forge connections in the only ways they knew how, and trying to become who they are supposed to be or with the case of the dad, maybe NOT become that person, as he had the option of working around his gift, which to me adds another layer to Joseph s story It s all heartbreaking and evocativejust a little gem of a story, I think.This is one of those novels that sticks with you for several days, offering up little bits and pieces until you see them in a new light and make the connections that Bender implies but never pushes


  6. tee tee says:

    If this book was a person I would fuck it with the sensitivity required of banging a lithe, twee hipster who loves cats, typewriters, sunshine and forests Then I would take an overexposed photo of our intertwined post coitus naked bodies whilst we wear bunny masks and straight into the wank bank it d go Though I must say, this book if it were an IRL person would be like Lee Holloway, all presumed innocence but in fact kinky as hell Not that the book is kinky, it s deranged A little off So m If this book was a person I would fuck it with the sensitivity required of banging a lithe, twee hipster who loves cats, typewriters, sunshine and forests Then I would take an overexposed photo of our intertwined post coitus naked bodies whilst we wear bunny masks and straight into the wank bank it d go Though I must say, this book if it were an IRL person would be like Lee Holloway, all presumed innocence but in fact kinky as hell Not that the book is kinky, it s deranged A little off Solike E Edward Grey A dude creepily view spoiler morphs into a chair hide spoiler and it makes you feel fucking weird Like you want to touch yourself but there s a portrait of your mum or Jesus on the wall Or maybe both And they re staring at you And if you proceed, you ll never forget what you did Every time you pass that picture of Jesus you will feel his eyes bore into your fucking soul Even if you re atheist If I was a book I would want to be this one I would like to be this book in the hands of Kat Dennings whilst she licked salt off her fingers because she s eating buttery popcorn whilst she reads me And then she d fall asleep with me in her sweet little hands and perhaps break my spine but that would be okay And if Michael Cera came anywhere near her, I would be thrilled if she threw me at him and injured him in some way Then she would pick me up and kiss me all better and perhaps lie in the sunshine with me, using me to shade her face and perhaps spread me open, pages pressed against her stomach Then she d find it impossible to be parted from me and drag me everywhere with her.If I wrote a book, I d be pretty satisfied with pumping out this delightful tale I want to both BE Aimee Bender and BANG Aimee Bender I want to be Aimee Bender and bed MYSELF I would write stories like these and roll around in the manuscript papers like pimps lounge around in dollar bills yo Everything about this book just went down right Like that perfect cup of tea it s not too hot but almost too hot, and not too milky, no sugar It goes down and you want to gulp it but you want to sip it too and you don t want to finish it because you know your next cup of tea won t be anywhere near as good And you kind of want to convince everyone that there s whiskey in your coffee mug instead of tea, it s a little embarrassing but it doesn t change the way you feel about it Not one little bit I see all you haters hating on this book and all I can think is that my magic spell is working and I will have her all to myself She will come on goodreads one day and see me, her one loyal fan, and will carry me off into the sunset where our loyal steeds will be waiting And Kat Dennings And we will live happily ever after


  7. Katherine Katherine says:

    I m several chapters in and annoyed at the author s choice to completely ignore the style rule of punctuating dialogue with quotation marks Hello There s a reason for the rule, it alerts the reader that the words enclosed within those quotation marks are spoken words and allows the writing to flow smoothly Over the last few years we ve seenandbooks published where writers attempt to be innovative or clever by messing with standard punctuation and in my opinion few have been succes I m several chapters in and annoyed at the author s choice to completely ignore the style rule of punctuating dialogue with quotation marks Hello There s a reason for the rule, it alerts the reader that the words enclosed within those quotation marks are spoken words and allows the writing to flow smoothly Over the last few years we ve seenandbooks published where writers attempt to be innovative or clever by messing with standard punctuation and in my opinion few have been successful at it Here it s just plain silly, as if the author couldn t rely on her writing alone but had to resort to tricks to stand out I ll give it a fewchaptersI finished the book and have very mixed feelings about it The writing is good and quite lovely at times, especially in describing the food and the emotions it evokes for Rose However, two things keep me from recommending the book First, that Bender chose not to use quotation marks, I was hoping that after completing the book I would see a reason for the decision but I still see none It s confusing to the reader and adds nothing to the experience that I can determine Still puzzles me And second that halfway through the book the author switches the focus from Rose and her special gift to her brother and the two stories never fully coalesce Where Bender takes this tangent moves the story out of the realm of I can buy this magical realism to the land of truly bizarre She does attempt to tie the two together in the end but for me it was less than successful and ultimately unsatisfying I d give the book three stars for moments of wonderful writing, but I m taking away one star for the bad choice of punctuation, which includes not only the complete lack of quotation marks but also the baffling use of as a part of dialogue,and the strange schizophrenic nature of the story So two stars it was okay Not recommended unless you re a die hard fan of the author or enjoyexperimental writing


  8. Tracy Tracy says:

    Reading this so I can talk and or rage about it with Mattie.I left a lot of rage in my comment on another review, but I will just say this book was an utter disappointment The lack of quotation marks was annoying, but I could have gotten past that Rose s ability was interesting in and of itself, but the author failed absolutely at doing anything interesting WITH it for a good half of the book it was an afterthought, an irrelevance And when it was mentioned, it was disjointed, incoherent a Reading this so I can talk and or rage about it with Mattie.I left a lot of rage in my comment on another review, but I will just say this book was an utter disappointment The lack of quotation marks was annoying, but I could have gotten past that Rose s ability was interesting in and of itself, but the author failed absolutely at doing anything interesting WITH it for a good half of the book it was an afterthought, an irrelevance And when it was mentioned, it was disjointed, incoherent and lacked any internal consistency in what she read in the food meant The factory thing in particular was ridiculously annoying.Rose was boring Maybe she purposefully made herself so, to contrast the too interesting mother who also went nowhere in this story, despite a dramatic setup and grandma again, contrived and pointless and brother whose storyline I will not go into at length except so say it was a waste of space but since none of that was ever explored, she was just boring And, it seemed, bored She didn t want to do anything with her life for 90% of it and it pretty much seemed to be because my brother didn t do anything with his life and i m sure he hadpotential than I did That was a disturbing trend, in a way Joseph isimportant than Rose to her mother, to her grandmother, to George, to everyone else, including the author herself And yet for no reason and his story is only hinted at, not told Waste of space rage Anyway, worst book I ve read so far in 2011 and possibly one of the worst books I ll ever read in my life One star may be harsh, but it s on the scale of this COULD have been great, considering the premise so it gets extra penalized for failure


  9. Kirstine Kirstine says:

    I have struggled for very long with how to review this book Normally I can manage to spew out something at some point, but this has had me puzzled for so long I simply don t know how to say what I want to say about it It was not what I expected at all I expected a sweet, coming of age book The kind of book you didn t necessarily have to take too seriously or think about for too long Instead it was an incredibly tender and profound book that asks questions I don t quite know how to answer I have struggled for very long with how to review this book Normally I can manage to spew out something at some point, but this has had me puzzled for so long I simply don t know how to say what I want to say about it It was not what I expected at all I expected a sweet, coming of age book The kind of book you didn t necessarily have to take too seriously or think about for too long Instead it was an incredibly tender and profound book that asks questions I don t quite know how to answer Imagine if you, whenever you ate something no matter what it was , could taste the feelings and emotions of the person who made that particular food item Imagine if this happened some random day, and never went away And not just, say, Oh, she s feeling happy or she s a little sad today , but every layer of every emotion they ve had while making it You feel exactly what they felt It s a very original idea, and explains completely what people who, for some reason, feel left out, must feel like What having a special talent or ability can do to you, what kind of pressure it puts you under The ability she s suddenly burdened with because it is a burden is surreal, of course, but the situations it puts her in are very realistic How does one deal with one s family What will your friends think How do you explain this seemingly inexplicable thing to them How do you live a normal life, when you have to live every day with something that seems so abnormal You find meaning in it, of course you do You find a way to deal with it and you accept yourself in the end, but the how and the why and everything in between is so amazingly interesting and so well described in this The story with the brother is what really got to me It was so tender and so tragic and so beautifully described The circumstances that these people are in might seem magical or overly surreal, but they translate into something very real They can be metaphors for mental illness, autism, substance abuse, not living up to the expectations people have of you, or the expectations you have of yourself Or they can be exactly what they seem It s so normal and so surreal at the same time And yet it showed me so many very human things, and I was incredibly touched by it More than anything this is about family, about making things work when they seem to fall apart, about being honest about yourself and trusting each other And about coming to terms with who you are At least that s how I remember it


  10. Hannah Jane Hannah Jane says:

    Wow Extremely disturbing and haunting And it was so depressing for most of the book but only because I didn t understand it until much too late I will list my most favorite parts 1 On page 64 The punching bag tucked inside every chocolate chip Also on the next page when the sandwich is telling her to love it So funny and so incredibly inventive 2 Chapter 20 This page was the very first time it hit me that no one ever sent anything to the grandma And it really hit me I had to Wow Extremely disturbing and haunting And it was so depressing for most of the book but only because I didn t understand it until much too late I will list my most favorite parts 1 On page 64 The punching bag tucked inside every chocolate chip Also on the next page when the sandwich is telling her to love it So funny and so incredibly inventive 2 Chapter 20 This page was the very first time it hit me that no one ever sent anything to the grandma And it really hit me I had to stop reading for awhile because it was so disturbing Totally didn t help that the grandma s very last package actually showed her love That was another kick in the gut 3 On page 170 The little story Rose tells her father really defines their relationship, and I completely dismissed him until the photo album.And let s not forget the last page, the acceptance and closure To me this book was about how people love each other differently, and how it s easy to shrug off the types of love that don t make sense or may not feel right, or are not enough or rational Brilliant