{Book Review} The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake


I chose The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake for Cupcake Book Club, because it has a great title. With cake in the title it has to be good right? Well, this is going to be the shortest book review ever on this site. I finished the book and all I could say was ‘what the #@’. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover or awesome title because you will end up disappointed.

It started off with a promising story line. Rose can taste the feelings in food. The feelings of the person that cooked it but also the feelings of the farmers and factory workers or anyone that was involved in process or getting it to the store. The story starts to follow her as she grows up, starting from age 9 through until her 20’s.

Lemon Fudge Cake

She has an interesting family dynamic. A depressed mother, an uninterested father and a brother obsessed with science. All this sets the book up for something great. I’m all for books taking interesting turns but this book just went off the deep end. The interesting part’s like Rose’s food tasting, her relationship with her parents and her crush all take a back seat to what can only be described as irrelevant to the rest of the story.

I was left really disappointed with this book choice. The story had no flow and the concept had a lot of potential.

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  1. Kind of glad you wrote this: I’m still battling on with it……but am not in any way absorbed like I was with the Jenny Colgan books.

  2. I too chose this book last year as a book club selection based on the title and the idea that a girl can taste emotions in food… you’re not alone in your disappointment. This subject matter had such potential, but in this author’s hands, instead of Rose’s “ability” being a vehicle for her to learn to celebrate emotions (even if they’re difficult — I can understand why a young woman would struggle with tasting an affair in a chicken dinner) and to become connected with the world she has discovered , it all ends up feeling rather bleak and disconnected, which left a rather unpleaseant taste in my mouth. And none of that comes close to the weirdness involving her brother and his folding chair. Unfortunately, this book just didn’t seem to know what it wanted to say or do or be.