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The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

by Aimee Bender

Here’s an interesting concept: Rose has a unique ability – she can taste human emotions by eating cooked food. At first the story seemed a bit like the cake without the lemon – lacklustre - although I was intrigued by the exploration of Rose’s mother’s feelings. But everything goes up a gear with Rose’s father’s revelation – and I was hooked. Although if anyone can work out what happened to her brother, please let me know ….

Extract

I was, in general, an easygoing kid like that, a rescuer of worms. But this morning, while kids biked and swished outside, I grabbed a paper towel and dragged it hard down my tongue.
I started tearing at my mouth. Get it out! I roared.
What is it, baby? Mom asked, struggling out of her chair.
My mouth, I said, suddenly crying. The tears steaming hot, down my face. Everything flooding. I tried to pull at it - my mouth - with my fingers. Take it out! I said. Please. Mommy. Take it off my face.

Parallels

Willful Creatures by Aimee Bender
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
 

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