Saturday, July 31, 2010
Foodie Read: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
To pass the time on a l-o-o-n-g road trip recently (Read: driving four days, two kids, just me.), I checked out my first e-audio book from the library. How cool is this? If you haven't already, go to your library's on-line site and see if they have a digital media section or--gasp!--talk to your librarian. I downloaded 'Lemon Cake' to my computer and then uploaded it to my iPod for the trip with only minimal help from my techie husband. Very easy and FREE. Can't beat it. And if I'm way behind on the times here, sorry. They must not have advertised it on NOGGIN. :-)
So, what's the book about? I can't tell you yet. Because I can't stop myself from talking about the cover. The first thing I thought when I saw the cover was, "Hey, wait, that's a chocolate frosted yellow cake. Who in their right mind would frost a lemon cake with chocolate frosting? Seems like a waste of perfectly good lemon cake...and chocolate frosting." Actually, the mom in this book does make such a cake for her daughter, Rose, for her ninth birthday. And when Rose tastes the cake she is awakened to an uncanny ability to taste her mother's emotions through her food. The book, set in Los Angeles, follows Rose's development as she learns to live with and finally embrace and use her strange ability. She eventually discovers, however, that she's not the only member of her family with special skills.
The charm of 'Lemon Cake' is not necessarily the exciting plot or sparkling prose. I confess to being a scanner, and I hit the FF button a couple of times during the first half of this e-book. (Life is short; don't waste it reading bad prose or dull story lines.) But as Rose grew, I became more interested in her life, her brother's strange disappearances, and her ever-so-slightly deepening relationship with her dad. Of course at one point I wondered if she only ate the food of very depressed, angry, annoying people. Apparently not many happy cooks or chefs or, for that matter, people in L.A. But by the final chapters, when my iPod died and I was still two hours from home, I found myself rifling desperately through the suitcase in the trunk looking for my charger. I even unplugged the kids' movie and listened to the whining and ranting for the last 30 minutes just so I could find out how it would end. And that, my friend, is the best compliment I can give a book.
So, chocolate iced lemon cake...really? Any one? Am I alone in this?