Review: Lemon by Cordelia Strube

LemonWhen I started to read Lemon and was about 80 pages into the text, I represented the protagonist as a female, twenty-first century Holden Caulfield. Lemon is stuck in teenage-land with a set of unruly and imbalanced parents and some very messed up peers and teachers. As she navigates life, from her home where her agoraphobic stepmother mopes around, to her shitty job at the mall, to hang out with her popularity-obsessed BFF, to the sick kids hospital where she volunteers, Lemon glides through life by separating herself from the chaos around her, reading and ridiculing classic literature and citing ‘Sick Facts’ about humanity. By the time I had completed Lemon, I was no longer sure that she was a Holden Caulfield figure. Rather, the novel has a strong feminist message (one that Stieg Larsson would approve of) that is not found in The Catcher in the Rye. Cordelia Strube takes her character beyond teenage angst; Lemon has true reason to be wary of growing up into the adults she sees trapped in lives of their own making. At times this is a difficult story to read. Don’t let that dissuade you, though.

I was very impressed with Corelia Strube’s writing, and her ability to create a convincing and consistent voice for Lemon, the narrator of the novel. I intend to check out more books by Strube.