The Memory of Lemon by Judith Fertig

  • the memory of lemon cakeTitle:  The Memory of Lemon
  • Author:  Judith Fertig
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  304
  • Published:  June 2016 – Berkley
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  A crisp tang of citrus that is at once poignant and familiar, sharpening the senses and opening the mind to possibilities once known and long forgotten…
 
Claire “Neely” Davis is no ordinary pastry chef. Her flavor combinations aren’t just a product of a well-honed palate: she can “taste” people’s emotions, sensing the ingredients that will touch her customers’ souls. Her gift has never failed her—until she meets a free-spirited bride-to-be and her overbearing society mother. The two are unable to agree on a single wedding detail, and their bickering leaves Neely’s intuition frustratingly silent—right when she needs it most.
 
Between trying to navigate a divorce, explore a new relationship, and handle the reappearance of her long-absent father, Neely is struggling to make sense of her own conflicting emotions, much less those of her hard-to-please bride. But as she embarks on a flavorful quest to craft the perfect wedding celebration, she’ll uncover a family history that sheds light on both the missing ingredients and her own problems—and illustrates how the sweet and sour in life often combine to make the most delicious memories… (publisher)

My take:  Neely is a gifted pastry chef. Not only can she tell which flavors a customer will like but she can tell what they need. She can sense their history – going back generations. I loved that aspect of the novel. It made me think about my ancestors and their life experiences and how everything led to where I am now.

Neely has turmoil in her life. She’s waiting for her soon-to-be ex husband to sign the divorce papers so she can move on with her life (hopefully with a certain man from her past). She also has a challenging wedding customer – bride and her mother. And then she receives a letter from her estranged father. There’s a lot going on in her life.

I liked how Judith Fertig blended everything together to make a lovely story of people finding their way. The theme I appreciated most was that we can find inner strength we didn’t know we possessed to carry us through many situations. Recommended to fans of fiction with a dash of magical realism and pastry. A Readers Guide is included at the end.


About the author:

Judith Fertig, author of The Cake Therapist, is an award-winning cookbook author whose food and lifestyle writing has appeared in more than a dozen publications, including Bon Appétit, Saveur, and the New York Times. Judith attended Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris and the Graduate Summer Workshop at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She teaches cooking classes across the country and lives in Kansas City.

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