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The Memory of Lemon

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  675 ratings  ·  129 reviews
The author of The Cake Therapist returns with another sweet and emotional tale featuring Neely, the baker with a knack for finding exactly the right flavor for any occasion...
A crisp tang of citrus that is at once poignant and familiar, sharpening the senses and opening the mind to possibilities once known and long forgotten...
Claire “Neely” Davis is no ordinary pastry
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Berkley
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3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  675 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it

Neely is back, and her bakeshop is a pleasant, delicious, heartwarming way to spend an evening of reading.

The smells, the visuals of the baked goods, and the taste of everything Ms. Fertig describes makes your mouth water.

THE MEMORY OF LEMON begins with a difficult bride who can't decide on her wedding cake flavor and venue. Neely just can't "taste" her personality and choose the perfect flavor for the bride. There is something familiar for Neely about the venue the bride chooses, but she can't
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
I usually love books with symbolisms but this book had waaaayyyy too many for me. The Memory of Lemon is about a young woman who owns a bakery and can help brides with their wedding cakes by seeing "visions" through tastes. Okay, lemon conjures up memories. That I like. She is going through a divorce from a famous football player who wants to take her bakery. And her estranged dad is a Viet Nam vet who sees visions of dark indigo ink. And she sees visions in her coffee lattes foam every morning ...more
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Title: The Memory of Lemon
Author: Judith Fertig
Publication: Berkley
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Four

"The Memory of Lemon" by Judith Fertig

My Thoughts...

I found this read quite a interesting one as the reader finds Claire [Neely] Davis not only have the favor for being a pastry chef but also has plenty on her plate such as: 'a divorce, her father that is suffering from PTSD from the Vietnam War, her grandmother who is suffering from Alzheimer's and then their is a mother/daughter situat
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
There is way too much going on in this book. Jumping back centuries to decades to modern times to locations, and back again. I had no idea who these people were half the time, or what their big connection was supposed to be. The author should've kept the storyline in modern day, as that was the strongest part of this book, but even then, the characters were underdeveloped and fell flat. Pass on this one.
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the Cake Therapist and was excited to read The Memory of Lemon from Judith Fertig. I loved how Neely's story intertwined from the present to the past and of course reading about all Neely's bakery goodies made my mouth water. Looking forward to reading Ms Fertigs next offering.

Thanks to NetGallery for providing me with a copy of this great book.
Sissy Lu {Book Savvy Reviews}
Claire "Neely" decided to move back home to start up a bakery after her NFL star husband had been unfaithful multiple times, so they separated and she went on to begin her bakery "Rainbow Cake." Neely's cakery has helped many brides because Neely has an ability to see snippets of her client's life and find the perfect flavor match up. These come to her in visions and helps her to read a person better to pinpoint what would suit them best.

Except she's about to face a mother and daughter duo that
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Memory of Lemon returns readers to Rainbow Cake, the winsome bakery opened by Claire "Neely" Davis in Millcreek Valley, Ohio. Neely is an exceptional pastry chef; not only because of the results she can produce but also because of her remarkable flavor intuition. It's an ability that allows her to tap into the emotions of her clients, creating confections that are not only tempting and delicious but also personal and memorable. However, Neely may have met her match in Lydia and her mom, Cade ...more
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I adored this book. It was made up of so much I love about reading, I was so totally caught up in Neely's world and could see myself in the places she inhabited. I especially loved the food moments - the smells and tastes that transported Neely and I into another place and time. And I was such a fan of those "gifted" moments.

I will admit to getting a little lost in the moments of the past and how they all connected to Neely but it ended in such a way that there was closure and it all made sense.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Not my favorite! I thought for sure it would be cozy for me...had all the right elements. It had history, family struggle, a bit of magic and even different time periods and perspectives. But, it was confusing at times, like thoughts that were not completely put together or developed enough. Characters were brought forward that made you wonder what the connection was and then their story ended without explanation and sometimes without warning. So, I gave it three stars instead of two because I w ...more
Mar 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a light read - another baking theme - which I seem to like even though baking or cooking are not on my list of favorite things to do.. just kind of had to go along with the characters having the ability to remember or assess a situation based on the flavor they 'tasted' when something happened..
and a little hard to keep the characters straight in the parts of the book where the chapters went back to prior history - something authors seem to use a lot these days... overall a good read
Cute, easy read about a baker who is working on a challenging wedding while juggling a complicated love life and family issues. I was a bit lost when the timeline jumped around because it was sometimes difficult to remember all the characters and how they were related. It did tie up neatly and ended on a hopeful note.
Kayla Tornello
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
This book was fine, but nothing spectacular. There were so many characters that there didn't seem to be enough detail on any particular one. I did like the concept of using taste to unlock memories and the past, though.
Beverly J.
Meh...should've stayed with more of the magical realism and less reality.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked this book and read the first half of it in a day. I sometimes found the going back and forth to learn about the histories a little confusing. I do like the present day characters and all of the descriptions of the pastries.
Anything with a food theme gets my attention: but to keep my attention is not easy, but Fertig is able to capture my focus. I love the descriptions of pastry, wonderful flavors like lavender and lemon. Neely, the main female lead, is able to through flavors taste people's memories and emotions. It is an interesting phenomenon and it is what keeps the story going. Her father's story is also a secondary lead, which culminates in the end, with great reveal. The tastes and flavors carry me through t ...more
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book prior to release.

4 Stars

Claire (who goes by Neely) has moved back home and has opened her dream bakery. She is no ordinary baker, her flavor combinations are nothing short of magical and she seems to have the uncanny ability to know exactly what flavor will touch her customer’s souls. She can “taste” the flavor of her customer to know what the right combination is for their baked delight.

Neely has taken on a large hi
Viviane Crystal
Aug 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Clare “Neely” Davis is back in this second novel (stand-alone) with her delightful gift of sensing flavors of taste that match people’s predominant emotions. They flow freely and easily most of the time but not in this particular story as she attempts to plan a wedding cake for a mother and daughter at loggerheads over the final decision. The mother used to be poor and struggling but married a man with drive who created a business that has made them rich; Mrs. Stidham is determined never to retu ...more
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I would like to thank Goodreads and Penguin Random House for the advance reading copy of this book in return for an honest review.

I truly enjoyed this delightful, light read. The descriptions of food were lyrical. The offerings of Neely's (the main character) Rainbow Cake bakery made me want to visit and see the wonderous things the author described so beautifully.

Neely is an engaging and gentle protagonist. As a reader, I knew I would like Neely and wished her the best. Yes, I know she's a fict
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Thoroughly enjoyable book, exploring the memories that can be associated with taste and scent, and causing one to wonder if those memories can be handed down in our DNA. The characters in the book were (mostly) likable, and despite touching on some tough subjects, this primarily felt like a light-hearted read.

Neely, the bakery owner, was especially appealing for me - sensitive and generous of spirit. The descriptions of her bakery and her relationship with her employees made the book for me.

May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had the opportunity to read an ARC of this story from First to Read. I really enjoyed this book and the story. The writing was beautiful. In particular, the descriptions of the smells and tastes were evocative. I would imagine that describing a taste or smell is incredibly difficult, but Ms. Fertig did so with such poetic prose. I felt like I could taste every smell and smell every taste. As beautiful as the writing is, I almost gave up on the book a couple of times. I felt like some of transi ...more
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Claire "Neely" O'Neil has recently opened up a bakery in her hometown. She has a unique gift of being able to "taste" a flavor and pick the perfect cake for brides-to-be, often seeing a memory from the other person related to the flavor she tastes. However, with her latest bride-to-be, Lydia, Claire doesn't immediately taste a flavor and has to work to discover what this bride-to-be and her mom want. Flashbacks
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Neely is a gifted pastry chef. Not only can she tell which flavors a customer will like but she can tell what they need. She can sense their history – going back generations. I loved that aspect of the novel. It made me think about my ancestors and their life experiences and how everything led to where I am now.

Neely has turmoil in her life. She’s waiting for her soon-to-be ex husband to sign the divorce papers so she can move on with her life (hopefully with a certain man from her past). She al
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is so much more than a baker and her bakery. It is Neely's story of her immediate family and her heritage of wanderers going back to Kentucky and the Irish immigrants. She has a gift passed on from her grandmother and father that she can taste her customers emotions by their favorite flavors and reactions. As she navigates some problems in her own life, (a divorce, a father with PTSD from Vietnam, and a grandmother lost to Alzheimer's) she wants to help a bride and her mother solve the ...more
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars Fertig’s follow-up to The Cake Therapist allows readers to experience the process Neely goes through to discover long-buried secrets about her past. Through different scents and flavors, emotions are intertwined with memories as Neely uses them to help herself and others heal and move forward to a brighter future. This is a deeply meaningful story that will allow readers to examine their own lives as well.
As Claire “Neely” Davis prepares for another wedding, she finds that her gift for
Samantha March
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a review copy
I absolutely adored The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig, and was incredibly excited to read her next offering. While we once again follow pastry chef Neely – who has the special gift of “tasting” people’s emotions – she is now in a very different place in her life. Trying to divorce her cheating husband, find happiness once again in her own love life, deal with the delicate issue of her father, and of course, pleasing brides, it was a joy to catch back up with a very rela
Deborah Shouse
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Memory of Lemon: A Refreshing, Mouth-Watering Read

I like a book that’s fun to read and that engages your senses, and involves your emotions and your intellect. I like a book that presents interesting characters and slides in fascinating information, so I’m learning delicious little tidbits just by reading. And I like a dash of romance and a wisp of mysticism. Judith Fertig manages to provide all those elements and more in her delightful novel, The Memory of Lemon. This well-crafted novel sta
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read The Cake Therapist last year and really enjoyed it so it was a no brainer for me when I was offered the chance to read The Memory of Lemon. In this installment we pick up where The Cake Therapist left off and continue to learn more about Claire "Neely" Davis. More specifically we learn more of the back story of her relationship with her estranged father. It was an enjoyable read and I look forward to the next installment! One thing I want to point out is that even though this is a second ...more
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joanne Langone
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was drawn in by the cover art and title. Without knowing much about the content, I instinctively knew this was a comfortable book for a weekend read. Judith Fertig did not disappoint. She has artfully interwoven stories from the past and present with memories of foods and the scents of cooking. A light, easy read that allowed me to escape into the world of Neely's bakery and left me caring about the fate of all the characters I met in Millcreek Valley. So much so, that I am now reading Judith' ...more
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Judith Fertig is a debut novelist and award-winning cookbook author. Flavor speaks to her in stories and recipes, whether for baking or barbecue.

She resides in Overland Park, Kansas, which is not quite somewhere-over-the-rainbow, but close.
“I walked back to the front of the bakery to see a knot of people stalking our display for June. Apricot and lavender might seem like an unusual pairing, but it made perfect sense to me. Luscious, sweet apricots taste best when they're baked and the flavor is concentrated. On the other hand, lavender likes it cool; the buds have a floral, almost astringent flavor. Lavender was a line drawing that I filled in with brushstrokes of lush apricot.” 3 likes
“The flavor the came to me was a luscious Sincerest peach that I once had in California. This heirloom variety needed time to ripen on the tree to achieve its peak flavor. Unlike other peaches that were picked unripe so they would ship more easily, Sincerest peaches had to be eaten right away. But they were worth it- fragrant, luscious, juice-dripping-down-your-chin perfection.” 1 likes
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