The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

  • by Aimee Bender
  • Narrated by Aimee Bender
  • 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse.
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.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is a luminous tale about the enormous difficulty of loving someone fully when you know too much about them. It is heartbreaking and funny, wise and sad, and confirms Aimee Bender's place as "a writer who makes you grateful for the very existence of language."(San Francisco Chronicle).


What the Critics Say

"Charming and wistful....[Bender] harness[es] her exquisite, bizarre sensitivity, in this haunting examination" (The Atlantic)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting story

The story is quite good, and gets better as it progresses, but it is let down by the ending. Also the author needs to let go and use proper voice actors as she does not do her story justice.
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- Claire Jackson


Would you try another book written by Aimee Bender or narrated by Aimee Bender?

Sadly no as I didn't enjoy the story or like the tone of the narrator. I gave up listening part way through.

Would you ever listen to anything by Aimee Bender again?

I don't think so.

How could the performance have been better?

I am not sure if it was the accent I disliked or the story in general.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was disappointed in the story to begin with and then I stopped listening as the whole tone of the thing just made me feel sad.

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- Sarah

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-06-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audio