Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

The first time that Rose Edelstein began tasting the emotions of other people in the food they prepared, she was 11 years old. Her strange ability was an affliction more than a talent; when Rose was twelve, she learned the taste of her mother having an extramarital affair.

The Edelstein family encompassed another child with special talents: Rose's older brother, Joseph. Joseph was a math and science genius with a particular interest in particle physics. He was not at all interested in people. Rose suspected that he was disappearing entirely into the world of objects.

Rose's father had such a fear of hospitals that he would not even go inside when his children were born. The Edelsteins are a quirky bunch, but somehow that doesn't overpower their story. The novel is about coping and about accepting life's challenges. It is gracefully told - as sweetly tart and satisfying as a slice of lemon cake.

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