I have heard very mixed reviews about The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. I had it on my nook wishlist, but when I saw it available at the library I thought I’d save the few bucks and read the old-fashioned (!) hardcover copy.
The initial premise seemed interesting enough: young Rose Edelstein discovers that she can taste the feelings of the person who prepares what she eats after tasting sadness in a lemon cake her mother baked for her. Her family can only be described as dysfunctional at best, and the sensations become so strong that she cannot eat anything but highly processed junk food to prevent her from becoming overwhelmed.
And then it just gets weird.
Rose’s story seems to take a backseat to that of her older brother Joseph, a very intelligent kid but very much a loner and with his own quirks (some reviews I have read have diagnosed him with a form of autism). It seems that for him the greatest thing about going to college is moving into his own place, and well before he’s finished high school he starts packing his things. Even though Rose is the narrator of the entire novel, the last half of the book is more about Joseph; and to me this part made absolutely no sense.
Maybe someone more intelligent than me can appreciate what (if anything) this book is trying to say. I just plain did not get it. I’m glad I did not shell out good money for this one.