Thursday, May 26, 2016

Inspired by Reading: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

As you know, I look forward every month to the Inspired by Reading Book Club since it combines my love of reading and creating jewelry.  This month we read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.  As is often the case since I've been so out of touch with adult fiction for so long, I had no preconceived notions of this book... and boy, it was a weird one!

The main character, Rose Edelstein, discovers on the eve of her ninth birthday that she can feel her mother's emotions in the lemon cake that she has made for Rose's birthday.  She quickly begins to understand that it goes far beyond her mother's baking... she can taste the emotions that the person or people who made or picked any food.  She eventually hones her skills so that she can tell what factory and field the individual ingredients came from and even the character of those who picked them!  I can't imagine the burden that would be... sometimes it's really better NOT to know every little thing.  Rose ends up resorting to mostly eating super processed foods that are primarily made by automated processes to avoid tasting sadness, rage, or despair.  I appreciate that by the end of the book, Rose seems to have found a place for herself in the world and a way to make good use of her talent.  By the way, Rose isn't the only one in the family with unique abilities and/or oddities, but I'll let you discover all that for yourself!

I think that this month is the earliest I've ever finished the book since I had some good, concentrated airplane reading time on our trip to Portland, Oregon.  Finishing the book early doesn't necessarily translate into actually finishing my project early.  Le sigh.  But that being said, I still did better than I usually do!

For my design I was inspired by the titular lemon cake.  I have to admit that when I picked up the book from my local library my first thought was something like "that looks all wrong for lemon cake!"  In my experience, chocolate frosting does NOT go on lemon cake so I assumed that the cover artist got it all wrong.  (As a librarian involved with book selection for many years, I'm well aware that authors rarely have any say in cover art and that publishers aren't always concerned with the cover being an accurate depiction of the story inside... so this was not a crazy line of thinking for me.)  As I dove in and started reading, I soon realized that the picture was correct... Rose's birthday cake was indeed lemon with chocolate frosting.  Weird... but it did give me my inspiration, so who am I to judge?

I find it fitting that the main component of my necklace came from one of Andrew Thornton's destash events.  These yellow glass beads were a great choice with their lemony goodness.  I paired them with a couple of wooden beads in the same basic size and shape for a simple strung necklace.  Chain just didn't feel right for the back of this piece.  I broke out the dark brown deerskin leather lace and my leather punch and used some waxed linen to stitch the leather closed.  (Thanks Nunn Design for the great idea!).  I love the soft feel of the leather and that it adds a little more "chocolate" to my lemon cake necklace!

You can check out what the other book club members made this month over on the Inspired by Reading Facebook page!  Looking for a great monthly challenge?  Love reading?  Join us!



  1. Nice necklace Sarajo! Really! the leather neckstrap is perfect to evoke the feeling of chocolate frosting! Those vintage glass beads are my favorite part of the necklace. Beautiful work all around !!

  2. What a lucky and inspired destash element for this necklace! Love those lemon glass beads almost as much as I love lemon cake!

  3. I love this necklace! It's very beautiful. It has a perfect chocolate/lemon balance. The leather is great. I have to admit I can still be attracted to books by their covers, even though I know it often has nothing to do with the reality of the story. I love the cover of this book, though (the one you have pictured.) The colors just sit right with me.

    1. Thanks, Ann! I love the cover too... that bright turquoise and yellow is a yummy combination! Despite being a librarian and totally knowing better, I have to admit that a good cover can go a long way to getting me to pick a book up.

  4. Wonderful combination the brown is just enough to not overwhelm the yellow yet calm the yellow down to be a more versitile necklace, yummy job!

  5. I love all the elements, and your placement of the brown beads. The deerskin works well.