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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.
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Quirky, engaging tale of a family endowed with unlikely gifts, the ties that bind people barely conceal the chasms that divide them - Guardian
A beguiling, offbeat book that reads like a poem - Daily Telegraph
A lovely book, warm and comforting with moments of sadness and brilliantly written - Bookseller
[A] transformative narrative... powerful - San Francisco Chronicle
Bender is the master of quiet hysteria... She builds pressure sentence by sentence - Los Angeles Times
As delightful as its title suggests. - Glamour
A truly unique exploration of turbulent family relationships and a young girl on the cusp of adulthood grappling with grown-up emotions. - EasyLiving.com
The book initially reads like the familiar tale of a cosy, suburban middle-class LA household concealing frustrated lives behind an outwardly-cheery veneer. But by kicking the narrative left with the surrealist twist of Rose's psychic tastebuds it becomes so much more: an unpredictable meeting of modern magic and melancholic realism. - The List
Aimee Bender has got that cool, quirky American thing going on. Taking an unlikely premise - a girl who discovers she can taste emotions in food - she transforms it into a lovely, lonesome universal tale. - marie claire
It's a charming, funny, wistful novel, with serious things to say about feelings people hide and the nature of true nourishment - Saga
This emotional and moving tale blew us away with its beauty - Bella
It's as beautiful as it is strange. Bender writes such lyrical sentences, you pause over them in wonder. She has an unusual take on life; and makes even the ordinary extraordinary. It's a compulsive page turner. This book is already a best seller in America, and has been embraced by book clubs. I loved it. It's one of those books you don't want to finish - and even when you have - it stays in your mind. Bender has written three previous novels. I intend to savour them all - Irish Examiner
This novel, in the style of stories like Chocolat, is a dreamy feast of gorgeous writing ... Gently, beautiful, odd, this is a story to sip and savour - Dublin Evening Herald
An intriguing premise for an original novel about a family and its relationships - Good Book Guide
AIMEE BENDER is the author of the novel An Invisible Sign of My Own and of the collections The Girl in the Flammable Skirt and Wilful Creatures. Her work has been widely anthologised and has been translated into ten languages. She lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Aimee Bender and her work at www.flammableskirt.com