The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

by Aimee Bender | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0385720963 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingrodespringbalwing of Roosdaal, Vlaams-Brabant / Brabant Flamant Belgium on 7/20/2012
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
10 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingrodespringbalwing from Roosdaal, Vlaams-Brabant / Brabant Flamant Belgium on Friday, July 20, 2012
On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, 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 cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.

The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.

Journal Entry 2 by wingrodespringbalwing at Moerbeke-Waas, Oost-Vlaanderen / Flandre Orientale Belgium on Friday, July 20, 2012
This book will travel in a ring.

Who's in?

Vekiki (UK -> Europe)
Scruffykaz (UK -> ...)
Appelsiini (Fin ->Europe)
Bookguide (Netherlands ->EU)
A3ana (Netherlands -> INTL)
Penelopewanders (Swiss -> EU)
Xlacrimax (Lithuania -> EU) skipped
QueenSissi (Portugal -> EU)
Miss_Sunshine (UK -> intl)
Romy86 (Australia -> no ship pref)
Shwooz (US ->US/CAN)
Carelaisa (CAN -> CAN/US)
Back to rodespringbal-> book is here

Journal Entry 3 by Vekiki at London, Greater London United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 28, 2012
received earlier today, started reading already - seems good so far, nice easy reading and an interesting idea. Thanks for sending it!

Journal Entry 4 by Vekiki at London, Greater London United Kingdom on Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Released 9 yrs ago (9/4/2012 UTC) at London, Greater London United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

well, this was an enjoyable easy read - a nice idea, but somewhat simplistically implemented. Still, I enjoyed it :) thanks for sharing - it's gone off in the post to the enxt reader

Journal Entry 5 by Scruffykaz at Sidcup, Kent United Kingdom on Sunday, November 25, 2012
Apologies for not logging this book sooner. Going to pass on to the next person as not had time to read and don't think I will do

Journal Entry 6 by Scruffykaz at Sidcup, Kent United Kingdom on Sunday, November 25, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (11/25/2012 UTC) at Sidcup, Kent United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I have the address so off to the next on the list.

Journal Entry 7 by Scruffykaz at Sidcup, Kent United Kingdom on Saturday, December 22, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (12/22/2012 UTC) at Sidcup, Kent United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On to the next person. Apologies for the delay.

Journal Entry 8 by Appelsiini at Lempäälä, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Friday, August 23, 2013
This one arrived today, thanks for sending! I have one book on my TBR -pile before this, but I'll try to be quick! :)

Journal Entry 9 by Appelsiini at Lempäälä, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Friday, September 13, 2013
This was a weird story. Lovely and well written, but weird. I keep wondering where the author has got the idea for this story! :)

I really don't know what else to say as I don't want to spoil it from next readers! I guess this is one of those few books which are better read without knowing too much about it. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 10 by Appelsiini at Lempäälä, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Released 7 yrs ago (10/23/2013 UTC) at Lempäälä, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Travel safe!

I'm sending a little choc bar with the book, it's part of the Pink Ribbon Challenge in Finnish forum. Enjoy! :)

Journal Entry 11 by bookguide at Wijchen, Gelderland Netherlands on Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Discovered today in our postbox. Thank you, Appelsiini, for packaging it so well and including the chocolate bar, which looks delicious. I'm sure the emotion I'll be experiencing when reading the book and eating the chocolate will be delight, and it won't need a magical ability to work it out. I've been really looking forward to reading this book, and it's extra special to have been sent a book about LEMON cake by someone whose screen name means ORANGE!

Journal Entry 12 by bookguide at Wijchen, Gelderland Netherlands on Tuesday, January 21, 2014
My full review on Goodreads
My Goodreads rating: 3 of 5 stars


As in Aimee Bender's 'An Invisible Sense of my Own', there are some surreal moments in this book and more than a touch of autistic tendencies in the characters. I would love to know if she has personal experience of autism, or if the idea of people with unusual talents and characters appeals to her sense of the absurd. I didn't enjoy this book as much as the 'An Invisible Sense of My Own', but this may be because I had higher expectations this time. I felt that Rose concentrated too much on the negative effects of her gift, which she saw as an affliction, and didn't explore what could have been positive benefits.

p.161: "You need to show your genius. [...] How many young men had she seen going through her office with big ideas and complex skills and no way to get any of it on paper?"

Aimee Bender also provides us with some surreal scenes and the odd flash of humour:
"sex, something which sounded appealing but only if it would happen with blindfolds in a timewarp plus amnesia."

One of things I loved before was the beautiful writing (even though I read it in translation last time). Here she describes Rose's father:
"He hummed tunes I'd never heard of, exuding an early-morning pep that had drained into a pure desire for television by the time I saw him at 7p.m."

I loved this evocative description of an incident when Rose and George meet to try to find Rose's brother who has disappeared:
"we stepped into the street and George grabbed my hand and the ghosts of our younger selves crossed with us."

I will definitely be keeping Aimee Bender on my reading list. Her books appeal to my sense of the absurd, her stories are intriguing, and her writing is often beautiful.



View all my Goodreads reviews

Journal Entry 13 by bookguide at Weert, Limburg Netherlands on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Released 7 yrs ago (9/13/2014 UTC) at Weert, Limburg Netherlands

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sorry to all concerned for keeping this book hostage for so long. It is now winging its way to a3ana. Thank you rodespringbal for having the patience of a saint and for being understanding and gracious in the face of extreme procrastination.

This book has been released as part of the following BookCrossing challenges:
- The Ultimate Challenge - read and release books, with extra points for a monthly theme
- Reduce Mount TBR (To Be Read) - read and release books on the TBR list since before the end of 2013. My reading goal is 36 books.
- Pages Read Challenge - read a self-set target number of pages in 2013. My goal is 15,000.

P.S. I posted this on September 12th in Lent. I made a JE on 13th, but have just deleted that and made this controlled release note on Sept. 23rd.

Journal Entry 14 by a3ana at Weert, Limburg Netherlands on Monday, October 6, 2014
It took some time before the book reached me, but I must say, I liked it. A lot about the contents has been written already, so I'm not going to repeat that.
Nice, surreal, absurd, well-written!
I'm going to PM the next one in the ring, penelopewanders.

Journal Entry 15 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Sunday, October 12, 2014
This has arrived safely in the Swiss Alps. I'll try to get to it soon.

Journal Entry 16 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Tuesday, October 28, 2014
This is indeed an unusual book, and I think the title encapsulates much of the book- there is a very particular sadness about the entire story. The "magic" of the story is not a liberating, empowering type of magic - or skill, as it's referred to in the story. The only hint of that would be perhaps the father's skill although he steadfastly declines the honor. It is instead a handicap or burden, which causes what varies from discomfort to suffering. The final note is slightly more optimistic, with a more fulfilling future for the main character, but the underlying tone of the story is a seeping sadness, I felt. I appreciated the writing and when for practical purposes I had to put it to the side for a few days, I was sorry not to be able to continue reading without interruption.
I finished reading this in France and will try to send it from here before returning home on the weekend.

Journal Entry 17 by wingpenelopewanderswing at -Paris 14e, Ile-de-France France on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Released 6 yrs ago (10/28/2014 UTC) at -Paris 14e, Ile-de-France France

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

From Switzerland to France, sent from Paris to Portugal. Enjoy!
Thanks so much for making this available.

Journal Entry 18 by QueenSissi at Gouveia, Guarda Portugal on Monday, December 22, 2014
It's been here for a long while but was in a box.

Please forgive me because I totally forgot. Hope to read it soon!

Journal Entry 19 by wingcarelaisawing at Québec, Québec Canada on Friday, May 29, 2015
the book is here!

I have another book to read before this one but I'll try not to keep this one too long in my possession.

Thanks for sending it my way!

Journal Entry 20 by wingcarelaisawing at Québec, Québec Canada on Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Hmm… what can I say about this book? It took me a while to get into it, but once it grabbed my attention, I found it hard to stop reading it. I like the way the author conveyed everyone’s feelings through food and how the main character could taste it. It was strange reading it at first but I got used to it and actually enjoyed it. It’s not the happiest story but in conveys what lots of people can go through during their lifetime. The writing was complex and simple at the same time, but it conveyed what the author wanted to say. It was a good read though I don’t know if I’ll read other books written by this author.

EDIT: the book is in the mail since July 27, 2015!

Journal Entry 21 by wingrodespringbalwing at Roosdaal, Vlaams-Brabant / Brabant Flamant Belgium on Monday, August 3, 2015
After 3years of travelling, the book is back home.
Thanks to all participants!

Journal Entry 22 by wingrodespringbalwing at N/A in By Mail, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Released 5 yrs ago (7/19/2016 UTC) at N/A in By Mail, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

as wishlisttag for crimson-tide

Journal Entry 23 by wingcrimson-tidewing at Balingup, Western Australia Australia on Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Arrived safely in the Southern Hemisphere.
Thanks very much for the tag, rodespringbal.

Journal Entry 24 by wingcrimson-tidewing at Balingup, Western Australia Australia on Friday, August 13, 2021

Unusual, and ended up going in unexpected directions. While quirky and quite surreal, the story is definitely also very real in terms of the family dynamics and dysfunction. The loneliness is palpable, the empathy painful and the need for connection universal. Bender is a good enough writer to be able to pull it all off without it spiralling into total weirdness.


Released 1 mo ago (8/18/2021 UTC) at End of the Road Street Library in Balingup, Western Australia Australia

WILD RELEASE NOTES:


Welcome to BookCrossing!


Hello and congratulations!  You have not only found yourself a good book, but a whole community of booklovers dedicated to sharing books with each other and the world at large.  I hope you'll stick around a bit and get to know BookCrossing - maybe even make a journal entry on this book.  You may choose to remain anonymous or to join (it's free!)  And if you do choose to join, I hope you'll tell them that crimson-tide referred you.  Feel free to read and keep this book, or to pass it on to a friend, or even set it free out "in the wild" for someone else to find like you did.  If you do choose to join, then you can watch the book as it travels - you'll be alerted by email each time someone makes another journal entry.  It's all completely confidential (you're known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your email address), free, and spam-free. 

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