The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake question


165 views
Confused?
Elora Elora Mar 13, 2013 05:52PM
Is anyone here as confused as I was? i really enjoyed the idea of this book, and it started off good, but as it progressed, I became more and more confused as to what this was all about. I mean, her brother turned into a chair if I am correct, what was this, I don't understand, what did you get from it other than all of the stuggles of family and such?



From the details given about Joseph, it seems like he has a high-functioning version of Autism. One part of autism is a disconnect from the rest of the world, particularly emotionally. They often find it difficult to identify emotion, respond with proper emotion, or deal with emotional people. The whole family was so emotionally screwed-up that Joseph probably felt significant stress trying to deal with them. In that case, it's easier to not have to worry about it. Chairs don't feel stress, or have to deal with screwed-up family situations.


I loved this book, but it did require some thinking. I think that Joseph had the ability to physically and mentally inhabit an inhuman object. The chair was a plain, ordinary thing that had no complicated emotions or thoughts attached to it; it was, in all simplicity, just a chair. And Joseph, even though he seemed to thrive on complexity, he really seemed to appreciate simple things and how steady they were. And I think that's why he chose the chair.


Aimee Bender also wrote The Girl in the Flammable Skirt and I absolutely loved it. It is a collection of short stories and there is something a bit bizarre in each of the stories. Because I loved it so much, especially since I don't particularly like short stories, I thought I wouls feel the same about Lemon Cake. It kept the bizarre but I didn't feel any of the intrigue or curiousity. Don't let Lemon Cake dissuade you from reading The Girl in the Flammable Skirt.


I loved the bizarre complexities of this book. Consider the way some people are so engaged with their electronics that they forget the world around them (essentially "becoming" the inanimate object). Also, contemplate the notion of processed foods having less emotion than homemade foods, and thereby tasting better (or easier, somehow). There is a bigger picture, and a greater corresponding message than initially appears. What do they all have in common? Call it escapism, lack of emotion, running from feeling; every character displays exactly such, in his/her specific way. Brilliant execution, Aimee Bender. IMO.


Really wish they would have explained the whole chair thing more. Like why of all things did he want to be a chair? Who wants to be farted on all day. Anyway, if I wanted to be away from everything, I think I would have turned myself into a tree or painting. He might as well have turned himself into a toilet seat.


I also was confused by the ending. Why did he turn into a chair? Did he have certain "gifts" that we werent aware about (like Lemon). I was just so confused by it.


Elora wrote: "Is anyone here as confused as I was? i really enjoyed the idea of this book, and it started off good, but as it progressed, I became more and more confused as to what this was all about. I mean, he..."
Yes, I have just finished the book and have to admit was a bit disappointed and confused by it. I can understand the ability to read people by what they touch or do or what energy they emit, but I have to say, when Joseph's part of the story was revealed (if it ever really was!) the book descended into nonsense for me. Also - and this is maybe trite - the lack of quotation marks was an added annoyance.


back to top