The paticular sadness of lemon cake review /レモンケーキの独特な寂しさ 考察

2019年12月4日

“The paticular sadness of lemon cake" review
「レモンケーキの独特な寂しさ」の考察

It is always fun to read the translated version of foriegn novels, but reading them in original languages gives us a different point of view. When the original book was not written in your mother tongue, it would take you longer to finish reading, but to take in every single word and expressions as they are is a joyful experience all the time. I have just finished reading Aimee Bender’s novel “The particular sadness of lemon cake" in English, and I’ve read it on the Kindle. I must say I really liked reading an electronic book. This time I have purchased the Audible book, so I could enjoy listening fluent English as well. Listening and following the sentences at the same time could help you to catch on the the story faster than you just read, so I recommend all English learners to try audible books at least one time.
It seems that there are various arguments of this book’s story, because we can interprate it in many ways. However, the theme was clear to me, and it’s “Family".In this book, chatacter’s magical gift is a key. More specifically, Rose, the storyreller, can taste feelings of the person who made them in foods. This is one of the strange gifts runs in her family, though it becomes clear later. In total, I sincerly enjoyed this book because it gave me a lot of view points to delve into, and made me sink into author’s rhetoric, beautiful description of nature. Now I jump into the review of this book, so be careful before you read if you haven’t read this book yet.
Viewpoint 1: Children are more sensitve to family issue than parents think.
First of all, I would like to sort out the Edelstein family. They can be categorized as a common family, which have mother who loves her son more than her daughter, father who does not interfere his children’s private, and son who dose not talk much, and grown-up daughter. This family looks like nothing to do with problem, but has little conversation and does not have any family event, so actually is about to break up in any minute. The decisive cause which bring this family into crisis is mother’s affair with her co-worker. And her daughter, Rose picks up on that very quickly by her talent. Regardless of her talent, it would be a matter of time to be known by Rose. Although she has known it at the first plase, she kept it secret for more than 8 years. We can apply this situation to family in reality. Generally, most children are obedient to their parents and think they are always right, so they avoid hurting them by hiding their feelings. Rose was smart enough to understand mother’s frastration towards father, so with her patience she kept her affair secret. As a conclution, like Rose, children are sensitive to family matters.
Secondly, I think the brother, Joseph takes a role of taking apart the family and also binding them. He is mute, unsociable but very clever, and also has a gift. In the last part, it becomes clear that his disappearence was the result of turning himself into a chair. So what is his gift? We need to considerate this because comprehension of this story would change. There are some possibilities. A, Joseph has a gift of becoming a chair. B, Joseph has a gift for cathching other’s feeling like Rose or his father. There is also very explicable opinion about his talent, it says “Joseph has a gift for touch." (Lormac from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/440836-why-did-joseph-disappear), ) If his talent was B or Lormac’s, we can say that Joseph has already known that his mother cheated on his father. Knowing this fact disappointed him deeply, and this would be one of the reasons of his disappearence. His disappearence hurts his mother deeply, and made her sister cofused, but this became a lesson for her mother because she evetually stopped going out with Larry. What I want to empahsize is that Joseph sensed unusual thing in family very quickly just like Rose, and ended up with protecting himself. So in conclusion, children in Edelstein family were sensitive enough to find out the slight change of family relationship. This is a message which goes through to our modern familes. Children know everything, although they could pretend as if they don’t know. If we don’t deal with this gap of awarness early, it can be a casue of family crisis.
Viewpoint2: Friendship can be both good and bad.
Since the scene of friend’s communication was written in this book brilliantry, I took a look at them and considered the viewpoint. Obviousy, the key person of this story is Joseph’s firend, George. He is described in good words, and is a target of admiration. For Rose, he is a good consultant, a very understanding friend, and also a boy whom she has feeling for. Rose could live with her talent because George believed her story and cherred her up. For Joseph, George was his best and only friend. They have hanged out and solved the math program together for more than 10 years. George is a nature at physicis, and his talent was notable, and Joseph was thinking they were equally smart. However, when they applyed for the same university, the gap has started to grow..Joseph could not enroll the longing unviersty while his best friend could. For Joseph who has little friends and has interest only in science, not being the same level as George was beyond his acceptance. This “betrayal" and “lose" made him to shun the reality. Plus, his family was blooding mother’s affairs. However, if George said a few words to Joseph, could he prevent his disapperance? George knew that Joseph has high pride and is confidence with his talent, so sould George support Joseph or not? In usual, George should have done something to Joseph. He has a responsibility to him because they have been getting along for so many years. However, George wanted to pursue his goal, so although he looks little insensitive, he made a right choice. This sad breaking up of friendship tells us lesson. Frendship needs a maintainance. Now your friendship looks like never fade away, but if we don’t respect each other, friendship would vanish in a moment. Especially in this day and age, if we misused social media, it would spilit friendship up. But also to mend and reestablish friendship is also friends can do. I wish George and Joseph could see and talk again someday.
Viewpoint 3: Sibilings are strange thing. They don’t know anything, but know everything.
In this book, as we get closer to the last, the relationship of Rose and Joseph is coming to the light. In the first two chapters, they don’t have a decent conversation, and Joseph looks like avoiding his sister. At first, readers would think they are one of those siblings who cannot get along with. Rose likes to tallk with Joseph, and sometimes ask him help, but she mostly is rejeted or gaven a cold sholder. We might have a pity on Rose because she is an innocent and really compassionate, but the truth is, Joseph was a really really kind person as well.(Joseph is not mean, but too indifferent to his sister. ) Come to think of it, he never rejected Rose’s ask, and always kept the same distance with his mom because he knew that he was loved more than her sister. However, he was a very fragile person as well. Probably because of his talent ,he could feel Rose’s grief, mother’s affiars and more than anything his weakness. The author wrote a scene where Joseph and Rose are just looking at each other and smiling a little many times. This was the only hint to realize that they were mutually connected. As the stroy goes, Joseph’s cry of the soul gegins to appear. When Rose and her mother tried to get closer to Joseph in his room, he just sits in the chair and trys to make them get away. The highlight, where Rose breaks into his apartment and gets into his room, Joseph cries out to her, “You’re always fucking pain !." In the next moment, when he could not stand with Rose’s compassion, and mother’s will anymore he disappears. Joseph’s disappearing is not just a suicidal act, because he knew that only his sister, Rose could understand and forgive him. He left everyting in his sister. Not George, his parents, but Rose. The last scene in the hospital, he finally says, " You’re the only one who knows", and looks her sister warmly, squeezeing her hand softly. In this moment, there is only unexplicable miraculous two sibling’s power that exists. After all those unmatched lenghty years, two individual’s heart were beautifully connected, although it has been, but unseeable until this moment. This is something we cannot expect, but it exists in reality,too. I have one younger brother, and we haven’t been in good relationships for several years, but I know everyting about him. I know how he will think and what he wants. I know what my parents does not know about him. It is a not the matter of “want to know" or " need to know", but just we know it naturaly. Thanks to Joseph and Rose’s sadness,madness, pain, we know what siblings are, and are overwhelmed by the mysterious power of them.
Lastly, I higly recommend everyone to read this book. I am sure that your heart will be clansed and you cherish a hope.

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Posted by Eri