There is an age old adage that food cooked with love tastes better. This story about The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender takes that thought to the nth degree.
Rose Edelstein, a seemingly normal girl discovers her ‘gift’ at the tender age of nine – the ability to taste the feelings of the people who make the food she eats. From her mothers (titular) Chocolate Lemon Cake to the school cafeteria lunchroom sandwiches, she is able to feel their emotion – happiness, anger, sadness, resentment…
Without getting too deep, it begs you to consider the question ‘Would you really want to know every single nuance of a persons thoughts and feelings?’ “…The punching bag tucked inside every chocolate chip.”
I’ve toyed with the idea of buying this book for a long while, it has all the earmarks of something I would enjoy; a Foodie-esque vibe, a little fantasy and a heartwarming tale. Something always stayed my hand until I spotted it one afternoon and impulse bought it. Am I glad I read it? Definitely. The idea of a life where that you can taste the emotions in peoples food is one that fascinates me – I wish I’d had the idea!
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Aimee Bender
Her family around her experience their own fragmented lives. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but she has an incredibly unique family around her, who all struggle with personal demons. I found some of the happenings in the story to be a bit tangential and not really explained but can be accepted. The author controversially doesn’t use speech marks which I thought would be difficult to read, but actually was very easy.
Read it, but keep an open mind whilst reading. It is intriguing and poignant – It’s also surprising and leaves a few open ends. But that’s real life. It’s one to let wash over you gently. Maybe food made with love really does taste better.
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Do you agree that food tastes better made with love?