On her ninth birthday, Rose takes a bite of her lemon birthday cake only to discover she can taste her mother’s emotions in it. It tastes like citrus and chocolate and everything a cake should taste like, but with an underlying sadness, an emptiness that Rose can’t escape. After that cake, Rose discovers she has a special gift; she can taste the anger in a cookie, the guilt in potatoes. Suddenly she knows so much about everyone that makes her food that she can barely eat.
As Rose gets older, she learns secrets about her mother through her cooking. Her melancholy brother begins disappearing. Rose realizes that she is the only one who can hold the family together as their secrets threaten to drive them apart. But will Rose find her way in life when she is so busy dealing with the problems of everyone else?
This was a bittersweet novel of family drama mixed with a little science fiction. I was a little disappointed in the ending, only because it leaves things open to interpretation. Overall, I enjoyed the story and would recommend it.