On the eve of her ninth birthday, Rose Edelstein bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the slice. All at once her cheerful, can-do mother tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes perilous. Anything can be revealed at any meal. Rose’s gift forces her to confront the truth behind her family’s emotions – her mother’s sadness, her father’s detachment and her brother’s clash with the world. But as Rose grows up, she learns that there are some secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.
I was really disappointed with the ending. You never know what would happen if the Dad goes into the hospital, which is okay, but I would like to know. Also the brother, I get his special ability, but why he wants to disappear forever? What drove him to do it? His grandfather smelled, his sister tasted, what was his?
The idea was good: a girl can taste the feelings of whoever prepared her food. Unfortunately, there really wasn’t much plot with characters which were uninteresting & heavily dependent on stereotypes – distant father busy providing for unfulfilled wife who’s having an affair and geek brother. The brother also has a special talent, which was a huge distraction from the main story, and wasn’t really very well explained anyway. But most disappointing of all was the lack of a real story line. The book describes the main character’s developing her ability to identify where her food comes from and what emotions the cook was feeling, but it never really builds to any climax.
A small part in the novel that annoyed me, Rose’s mother is having an affair and Rose figures it out so, she tells her daughter she’ll stop the affair if Rose wants her too (not because it’s wrong and not because she feels bad about it) but only if Rose tells her to stop, which Rose tells her to carry on with her affair. I had originally read the book at my grandmother’s house and left the book there mid-finish until I asked if I could finish it which my aunt happily gave the book over to me but I felt like I wasted my time with this book and that’s always a disappointing experience.