The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is like the first rain of the season: when grey streaks your windows and you wrap a thick sweater around yourself to protect from the melancholy that is sure to set in. The book follows Rose Edelstein through her life and although it is populated by the many rich and strange foods that she tastes, it is melancholy indeed. Throughout the book, Rose explores her peculiar and magical talent for tasting the emotions of the person who made the food when she eats it.
In reading it, I think many people will see elements of their own family reflected in it: a restless, unfaithful mother, an introverted, socially awkward brother, a disengaged father who is unable to connect with his daughter and a grandmother a few states over who sends packages but never comes to visit.
Using magical realism elements, the fantastical seamlessly melds with the reality and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake will leave you with your own particular sadness – along with many, many things to think about.
Review by Emily