On the eve of her ninth birthday, Rose Edelstein 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 slice. All at once her cheerful, can-do mother tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes perilous. Anything can be revealed at any meal.
Rose's gift forces her to confront the truth behind her family's emotions - her mother's sadness, her father's detachment and her brother's clash with the world. But as Rose grows up, she learns that there are some secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is about the pain of loving those whom you know too much about, and the secrets that exist within every family. At once profound, funny, wise and sad, this is a novel to savour.
Now available to preorder: Aimee Bender's new novel, The Butterfly Lampshade
Intriguing and poignantly written
A book with such beautiful writing that sometimes I have to stop and taste a sentence a second time
A wonderful metaphor for the child's sense of things that are never mentioned, and Bender writes with wit, warmth and insight
Quirky, engaging tale of a family endowed with unlikely gifts, the ties that bind people barely conceal the chasms that divide them
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake has at its heart an intriguing and poignant comment on the perils of childhood ... Bender brilliantly dovetails Rose's condition into a parable of the dangers of knowing too much about people, especially your family ... it is fresh and beautifully written