06 – Aimee Bender’s “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake”

There is no denying the fact that Aimee Bender is an excellent writer. She has such a beautiful flair for words that one wonders whether she actually stops to think or just lets everything out in a torrent of graceful prose. There is no hesitation in her words; the confidence and self-assurance jumps right out of her pages.

But I felt nothing.

And it makes me sad. Because I would have loved it if the beautiful words had moved me somehow. Made me cry, made me laugh, made me angry. I don’t know. Something. Maybe then it wouldn’t all feel so hollow.

Something. Anything.

Because “Lemon Cake” is a beautiful novel, one that offers rich imagery, a touch of magic, and loads and loads of potential.

Because I know sadness. And loneliness. And anger. And hatred. And despair. And I know what it’s like to have that twisting pit in your stomach, an itch crawling just beneath the surface of your skin because you can’t explain what exactly it is that’s eating you up. None of this lifts off from Bender’s otherwise flawless prose.

It’s empty, just like the titular lemon cake. Beautiful and every inch perfect, except it’s utterly and completely hollow.

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