My Name is Memory,the second novel by Ann Brashares for adults, taps into the growing appetite for romances thwarted by extraordinary tricks of time. If you liked Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, which is still one of my favorite reads, then most likely you’ll enjoy the love story of Virginia high-school student Lucy as she is inexplicably drawn to classmate Daniel. But when he claims to have known her before, a thoroughly unsettled Lucy flees. Gradually, Lucy learns the impossible truth: Daniel has been chasing her through ages and lives for 1,200 years. But is it the truth, or is Daniel Grey completely delusional? At one point Daniel even asks himself “What if he’d invented this memory as a way to contend with a life of abandonment and abuse?” Let’s hope for a speedy sequel that is hinted at….
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender is the second book I’ve read this month so far. It begins on the eve of her ninth birthday when unassuming 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 cake. She discovers this gift to her horror though, for her mother—her cheerful, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose. The lengths that Rose will go to in order to avoid tasting food is incredible as she practically lives on vending machine snacks while in school. Her odd behavior alienates even her best friend. Thankfully she has a confidante in George, her brother’s nerdy, scientific friend, who somehow believes that Rose can taste the rage in a cookie at the local bakery when he conducts a little experiment. He tells Rose that someday she will grow into this “magic food psychic” thing and she does, not without heartbreak along the way.