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May 2018: Family Drama > The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender - 4 stars

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message 1: by Amy N. (new)

Amy N. | 256 comments I read this in two days and I absolutely loved it, though the reviews it got make me think it's not for everyone. I suppose I understand. It was very dreamy and a little out there. But the prose was so rich and descriptive without straying into purple prose territory that I savored almost every sentence. It had no quotation marks for the dialogue, which gave everything a distant quality, like the story was being told at a remove. But I think that really worked here since, for the most part, it was the story of a child/teenager/young adult being remembered by her older self. It had a hopeful ending without being too tidy, which is always a plus in my book. So much of it was so melancholy that I was afraid it was going to have a downer ending, but it didn't.

Despite having an overall melancholy feel there was plenty of humor here. The child characters acted like children and everyone was richly detailed and believable. The magical realism did nothing to detract and even added quite a bit; actually, the effects of her abilities on her life was at the center of the main character's story and it wouldn't have been the same book without it. My only sorrow is that I don't like lemon cake, so when the main character bites into hers and finds it unpalatable when she was expecting sweet and tangy perfection, I couldn't quite be there with her. "Well, yeah," a part of me thought, "what did you expect, it's lemon cake. Who asks for lemon cake?"


message 2: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 418 comments Thanks for the great review, it looks like a pretty interesting read.


message 3: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 418 comments Also, I love lemon cake, ha ha!


message 4: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 430 comments First, I absolutely love how you ended this review. I chuckled out loud to myself.

Second, I literally just had lemon cake not twenty minutes ago in an Italian restaurant in Chicago and exclaimed, “This is the best cake I’ve ever had in my life!”

Life’s funny like that.


message 5: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) If you like 'almost purple prose' and want something different, I recommend the essays (philosophy, memoir, humor, etc.) of Wsconsin farmer/ emergency services nurse Michael Perry.

His recent Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy is geting some good reviews, and his fiction, The Jesus Cow, is punchy satire. I, personally, have thoroughly enjoyed everything I've read by him.


message 6: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2097 comments Lemon Pound Cake. One of my favorites.

Great review.


message 7: by Amy N. (new)

Amy N. | 256 comments Nicole wrote: "Second, I literally just had lemon cake not twenty minutes ago in an Italian restaurant in Chicago and exclaimed, “This is the best cake I’ve ever had in my life!” "

That's hilarious!


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