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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A book with such beautiful writing that sometimes I have to stop and taste a sentence a second time - Grazia
A wonderful metaphor for the child's sense of things that are never mentioned, and Bender writes with wit, warmth and insight - The Times
Quirky, engaging tale of a family endowed with unlikely gifts, the ties that bind people barely conceal the chasms that divide them - Guardian
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 - The Sunday Times
Intense, strange and incredibly moving, it captures the magic and the romance of the unknown. With nods to both Chocolat and The Time Traveler's Wife, this is a beautifully written book and one that you will want to talk about long after you have finished reading it. - Elle
Haunting... Bender's prose delivers electric shocks... Moving, fanciful and gorgeously strange - People Magazine
Extraordinary - Time Out New York
[Bender] careens splendidly through an obstacle course of pathological, fantastical neuroses... brimming with a zesty, beguiling talent - Publishers Weekly
Bender is the master of quiet hysteria... She builds pressure sentence by sentence - Los Angeles Times
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
The book I wish I had written ... it's so clever - Cecelia Ahern
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
This is a moving and fantastical tale of the secrets and lies that lurk beneath the surface of a seemingly happy family. - Prima
Ultimate weepy foodie book ... fabulous - Red
Lose yourself in a fantastical gastronomical journey ... This novel explores familial love in an unexpected way, and you'll be hooked from the first taste - She
Moving and highly original, this book will make you look at food in a whole new light - Star
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