Do you want to know something really sad? I read this book months ago, I salivated over the cover for months before I got my grubby mitts on it, and now, just as I inserted the jpg in this post, was the first time I noticed that the shadow looked like a person. I am so sad. So very, very sad.
No one is less observant than me.
Awhile back I reviewed the book The Particular Sweetness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. At the time, I said that I liked the book, but barely. There were parts I didn’t get, mainly the whole Joseph thing, and well, there was something wrong that I just wasn’t able to put my finger on. A problem, of sorts; I had a problem with it, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. It was one of those problems that… well, I just knew if I could figure it out, it would make or break the book for me.
Well, thanks to a comment from a reader this week, I have figured it out. And suddenly, I like the book a whole lot more than I did. The comment?
I actually really liked this book-but it broke my heart. I think that what was wrong with Joseph was that he could feel everything that everyone else was feeling. Rose felt it in food, her grandfather in smell, but I think Joseph felt it with no parameters. Imagine how it would feel to know the misery of his parents, every second of every day. That is for me what drove him into a kind of insanity. I think he found a way to disappear into something-picking a factory chair because he wouldn’t have to feel the feelings of who made the chair. Obviously Bender’s use of magical thinking is sometimes hard to wrap your head around. But the themes are still very reachable for me. Do we really ever know anyone? Would we want to know another’s pain-truly? Very interesting book, and unlike anything I have ever read.
Thank you Jennifer for your insightful comment! Ever though of starting a book blog? I would read it!
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever hated/despised/been confused by a book only to have someone explain it to you and make you like/love it? It’s like, now that I understand it, now that I “Get. It.,” I really, really like the book. It may not be true love yet; I need to digest it a little more, but I definitely appreciate what Aimee Bender was trying to do now. I’m still not completely convinced she pulled it OFF, but I’m closer to convinced than I was. Clear as mud, ain’t it? It’s okay, I confuse myself ALL THE TIME>
Has anyone changed your mind about a book? Which book was it? Oh, and while were are clearing up books, can anyone change my mind about Like Water for Chocolate??? Because dude, I hate that book.