The Particular Love of an Author

In the beginning of An Invisible Sign of My Own, the narrator recounts a story - a myth - about a kingdom far away that was becoming too populated, so its residents were asked to sacrifice one person from each family. One family decided instead to each sacrifice a part of themselves--a nose, a foot--because they couldn't bear to lose each other. My aunt and uncle have an amazing backyard in South Jersey where I've spent many a summer day, listening to the background droning of a neighborhood lawnmower and swatting away greenheads as the aquamarine water from the pool lapped against me. One day, years ago, to keep my (then-young) cousins occupied, I started telling stories. I told that one, the one from An Invisible Sign of My Own. We moved to the hammock in the shade, curled up on each other, pressing damp hands into large grooves, and I told the story, which turned into a retelling of the book. My cousins loved it.

When I knock on wood, I think of Mona Gray, the book's narrator. Same, when I open a bar of fresh soap.

I don't know that there's any other book that speaks to me as much as An Invisible Sign of My Own does. I'll spare you my own neuroses, but suffice it to say I understood Mona. I understood Lisa Venus's rage. I even understand her father's slowing metamorphosis into shades of gray.

Anyway, I finished Emily Giffin's Heart of the Matter this morning (I liked it!) and, even though I have work reading to do, I remembered to check in on my Kindle to see when Aimee Bender's newest book, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, is out. I thought it was sometime this month. Turns out, I was wrong! It came out last week. Which means it came into my Kindle ay-sap.

I'm about 23 pages in. And I am, once again, shattered at the fact that someone on this planet can write as beautifully as Bender does.

(I totally forgot, btw, that Invisible Sign has been made into a movie. Starring (gulp) Jessica Alba. What's the deal? Is this going to be released or not?)