Thursday, August 18, 2011
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
I finished The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. It was a trial to say the least. When I first saw this book at the local Barnes and Noble, I was instantly drawn to the cover and title.
As is pretty evident by my other blog posts, I love food. I love cooking, I love baking, I love eating, and I love reading about any of those things. I still hold Julie & Julia high in my list of favorite books and movies. So when I first saw this book and read the brief blurb on the back, I thought the book would be entrenched in delicious descriptions of food.
I was really expecting something more lighthearted and appetite inducing, but instead, what i got was something confusing, and depressing. I have to be careful as to what I read and watch. I get extremely invested in stories, to the point where I have to fight off tears in movie previews and even commercials for banks. It's really quite ridiculous. Subsequently, I've learned to steer clear of the notoriously sad books. While it's great to have a good cry, and one of my favorite ways of inducing such a thing is through the media of books and movies, I still need that happy ending to put be back to right.
This book, it really didn't have it. The characters were incredibly static throughout the novel. In fact, the only person who seemed to change was the main character, and she only changed marginally. I was constantly looking forward to her own story lines, the ones involving her brother and her mother were frustrating at best. Her father was so absent until the end that he didn't even register. But because the mother and brother figure never grew and developed, and had the same problems throughout the entire novel, they were really quite boring.
In short, this books was a disappointment, mostly because I didn't know enough about the book beforehand. If I had gone in, expecting a depressing and meaningful book, I would have been a lot happier with it. Instead, the lack of frivolity just frustrated me. In the end, I'm glad I just checked this out from the library, rather than investing any actual money. I'm sure the book would be more appealing to someone who can handle the seriousness of the novel as a whole, unfortunately, that person just isn't me.