Matthew Allard's Reviews > The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
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's review
Nov 05, 2010

really liked it

I actually felt very moved by this book. This year saw three novels from three of my favorite female writers—Egan, Krauss, and Bender—and, having now read them all, I'm going to select one as a favorite. This one.

Lemon Cake is odd. It's bizarre in its fairy-tale-as-normal-life way, but Aimee Bender has never told a story that didn't reach a bit beyond what we know of our everyday world. I loved this book for its eccentricities, and I didn't mind that its strangest, most "out there" moments couldn't be realistically grounded or entirely explained in the end. I didn't need them to be. Especially since those fantastic elements were grounded in a family and relationships that did feel real, that did feel dynamic and honest. Bender's prose didn't always flow for me, but her descriptions and word choices were often beautiful. If I were a person who underlined favorite sentences in books, there would be a lot of marks in this one.

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Reading Progress

10/29/2010 page 68
11/04/2010 page 136
46.0% "I will be finishing this tonight because I have gotten "involved.""
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