Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake Review and Giveaway


The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel

From Booklist

Eating the cake her mother has prepared for her ninth birthday, Rose Edelstein discovers she has a gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the food she prepares. Soon, every bite Rose takes is filled with feelings—not just her mother’s but those of other people as well—and what might have been a gift becomes a burden and then, perhaps, a curse. Because this is a novel rooted in family, Rose will learn that she is not the only Edelstein with a peculiar gift or burden. How she and others learn to cope—or not, as the case may be—is the small, sad story Rose shares. Bender’s earlier work has often been described as surrealistic; however, this novel seems more informed by a kind of magical realism that struggles with transformation and sometimes—fleetingly—succeeds, as in the case of the novel’s vividly realized Los Angeles setting. But the effect soon fades, and the reader is left only with a lingering feeling of emptiness and the realization that sadness tastes a lot like bitterness. --Michael Cart

From: Nancy's Musings *WARNING*  (may contain spoilers)

I absolutely loved this book. Another new genre for me but the story told was far deeper a few hours after I read the last word.  As my brain deconstructed each character, I found myself in each of them.  I also decided that each person represented life coping skills. Each character has his/her own story to tell.  They have their own tragedies and their own beauty.

Here's my breakdown:


Rose's father: Logical, factual attorney who makes mental checklists. Get married. Check.  Graduate from college.  Check.  Have 2.6 children.  Check.  Work hard.  Check.  His coping mechanism is to avoid.  He will avoid anything that might give him discomfort or growth.  He'd much rather work from a checklist than delve into emotion or possibilities.

Rose's mother: Delicate, attractive, self deprecating, flaky, weird.  This is a woman who firmly believes in magic and signs.  She creates her own reality.  She is incredibly depressed and empty.  She fills her emptiness with stories that she wants to believe.

Brother Joseph:  Coping mechanism is to disappear and no longer exist.


Rose:  Can't decide how to cope with her gift/curse/life.  Seeks help from other dysfunctional people in her life but her family can't see her pain at the time.  She reacts with anger by plowing through.  She then quietly becomes fatalistic and simply exists without joy.  Rose finally seeks to accept, understand and embrace.


George:  Although peripheral to the family, George is Rose's reset button.  George is centered and, when asked, he will help Rose to anchor herself in order to go on.  George is critical to Rose's choices even as he moves forward with his own life.

If you want this book for your very own, leave me a comment.  I have two copies to give.  This would be an excellent book for a book club.  Another book I want to discuss with others.  Allison, my dear friend, you are going to borrow this book so you and I can talk about something besides kids!

Leave your email.

Let me know if you are a follower in a separate comment for an additional entry.

Contest ends July 26, 2010

Thanks to Doubleday for sponsoring this contest.

46 comments:

Bookventures said...

Thanks for this giveaway. This books sounds great.

I am an old follower

bookventuresbookclub AT gmail DOT com

The Empress said...

I am a follower, and this book sounds like the one I"ve been writing!!!

Oh, I hope it's not just like my story line....

Rebecca said...

i would love to win this!

beckaboo3283(at)gmail(dot)com

Rebecca said...

i am an old follower :o)

Brenda said...

I would love to read this book count me in on the giveaway. kittycrochettwo.msn.com

Brenda said...

I am a new follower

debbie said...

This is one of the books I really want to read.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a gfc follower.
debbie
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

CountessLaurie said...

I think this is already on my to-read list. Sounds interesting.

Thanks!!

l.moore.j@gmail.com

CountessLaurie said...

I would follow you to the ends of the earth ... through Google connect, that is.

In reality, I can't even get out of this podunk town I grew up in
:-)

l.moore.j@gmail.com

Riahli said...

Now I must read it... the_rivers(at)verizon(dot)net

Riahli said...

I follow... :)

nfmgirl said...

I'd love a shot at this book. Please count me in. Thank you!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I follow

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Teresa said...

Please count me in. I am an old follower.

teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

Joseph said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book. The author teaches at the USC School of Journalism. I'm a Trojan alum. Joseph from Joseph's Reviews (http://josephsreviews.wordpress.com/) Josephsreviews@gmail.com

Joseph said...

P.S. - I am a new follower. Joseph
I welcome followers at my Twitter site - http://twitter.com/josephsrviews

Joseph said...

Very sorry, it's -
http://twitter.com/josephsreviews

Wise Owl said...

I am a follower and I would love to win this book.

EEscripts@aol dot com
Emma

Jenny Bolech said...

My friends and I are about to start a book club - I think I might suggest this one! Thanks for the chance to win :)

jenny.maurer84 at gmail dot com

Jenny Bolech said...

I'm a blog follower!

jenny.maurer84 at gmail dot com

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

Sounds like something different.. I'd love to read it.

undermyappletree at gmail dot com

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

I'm also a follower

undermyappletree at gmail dot com

allisonsbj3 said...

Thanks for having this giveaway!

allisonsbj3(at)gmail(dot)com

allisonsbj3 said...

Follower!

allisonsbj3(at)gmail(dot)com

Melanie L said...

I've been wanting to read this. Count me in.
peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

Melanie L said...

I am a follower.
peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

twifanheather said...

I'd love to read this book!
hsemonick at gmail dot com

twifanheather said...

I'm a follower! :)

esther said...

I'd love to win this book.
era54510(at)gmail(dot)com

esther said...

I follow on Google Friend Connect.
era54510(at)gmail(dot)com

Carole Spring said...

This sounds like a very different, yet interesting story. I would love to read it! Thank you for the giveaway.

blondie_31971(at)yahoo(dot)com

Autumn said...

I've SO been wanting to read this!

autumn .crochet (at) gmail.com

Autumn said...

I'm a follower!

autumn.crochet (at) gmail. com

Got said...

Sounds like a wonderful book....what an interesting ability to have! Count me in please! ^_^

grgenius(at)gmail(dot)com

bkobsessed17 said...

Thanks for the giveaway! This book sounds really interesting.

xnzkisha17@yahoo.com

CherylS22 said...

I'd love to win this book. My book club decided to read this book in the upcoming year & I can't wait!
Thanks ~ megalon22 at yahoo dot com

CherylS22 said...

GFC follower
megalon22 at yahoo dot com

Island Girl said...

This book sounds AMAZING! Thanks for the chance!~
mainlandmama at gmail dot com

Island Girl said...

I follow on GFC.
mainlandmama at gmail dot com

Dawn M. said...

Would love the chance to read this book. Count me in, please!

Thanks! :0)
librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Katie said...

Thanks for this!
atomicxrawr@yahoo.com

Terrymac said...

I would love to be chosen one of your two lucky winners of this book. It sound delicious! ....hope it is also open to CA?

Thank you for this giveaway.

terrymac1a At hotmail dot com

Terrymac said...

I am a follower.
Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

terrymac1a at hotmail dot com

Andie said...

I've heard such great things about this book, I'd love to read it.
andie.v107(at)yahoo(dot)com