Thursday, December 8, 2011

Magically Delicious

I can understand why The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake gets mixed reviews. It's not for everyone, and it might not even be for you.

It's a very weird book, with a very weird premise, and it's hard to know what exactly even happens. On the surface, it's a story about a disaffected little girl whose parents grow distant via an extra-marital affair, and an older brother who disappears one day. You could get away with leaving it at that, and say there's just a little derivative magical realism sprinkled in for good measure, and you'd be kind of right. "She can taste other people's emotions in her cake. Big deal."

And so maybe it's just the mood I was in when I picked it up, but the fact is that I couldn't have loved The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake any more. For me, the bizarre magical elements take a mundane little story about teenage girl angst into the realm of the inexplicable, the confusing, & the sublime. I won't give away what happens to her brother -- it's so weird! -- but the thing is, even though what happens is physically impossible, it still feels a real way that I've felt before. In dreams? In small, secret places.

Rachel - Programs

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