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Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India Paperback – October 9, 2007
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I bought this book for I was born in Delhi, India, around the time (give or take 10 years)that Ms. Jaffrey writes about.
It is delightful.
Not only the narrative, simple, unassuming but wonderfully evocative, but what she manages to put in between family reminiscences. All those wonderful food items and she describes them with mouthwatering adjectives.
Very enjoyble indeed.
I wish they'll bring out an audio edition, this is worth listening to and drool in a long car journey
This is a memoir of sorts but the whole time I was reading it (despite her delightful personality) I felt I was missing something. There were nice intermittent memoirs but not a real thread that wove it all together. And the ominous descriptions of her uncle terminated with a comment that he died one day after she left India.
I think her story is lovely but it isn't what I expected of her. But maybe that's just a testament to her expertise as a cookbook author ( no small feat!) and a PBS TV personna..she is very charming and you wish she was your neighbor or friend!
So yes, I enjoyed this book but having seen her before on TV and in cookbook form, the story was loose and needed better editing and guidance with the plot. But I read it on a wine country escape and it did serve as a lovely counterpart to my experience.
If you are at all interested in Indian cuisine, please read her many Indian cookbooks which are all superb.
in India, and her famous cookery show and books in the same domain.
Apparently, at one time the author was married to Mr. Jaffrey, but has since
divorced and is now re-married to a gentleman in New York and settled in the
same city. I presume she still writes books on Indian cooking. In any case,
the Jaffrey name and the title were enough of a ruse to get me to read the
book. What emerges is a tale of a priviledged childhood in pre-independence
India: her family traces its roots back to the time of emperor Aurangzeb
(the last Mughal ruler of India) in whose court Madhur's ancestors used to
ply their craft as writers. The emperor gifted land to her ancestors in what
would later became New Delhi, enabling Madhur a luxurious childhood by Indian
standards. Her family was well to do: grandfather was a barrister, father
owned mills, the family took trips to Europe and possessed two American cars -- and
this is in pre-independent India, mind you. The book itself is composed of short
chapters, each one detailing some memory of childhood: cousins, siblings, aunts and
uncles, grandparent, summer trips to Simla, train rides, traumas, first love, the
travails of a joint family, etc. A common thread that runs through all the chapters is
the association of food with the memories. Madhur (which means "sweet, honey-like" in
Hindi) draws upon her strength -- food -- to permeate each chapter. The writing
style is informal and colloquial, but enjoyable nonetheless. As an added bonus, the
last portion of the book contain her favorite recipes. (July 2007)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book started slowly for me, then gained my interest but ended abruptly. In many places it seemed sloppy or poorly cohesive. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Sharon G. Griffitts
Not for me. I am a Madhur Jaffrey fan, but for some reason I just could not get interested in this memoir. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Melissa Velik
The title is more exotic then the subject matter. Is still a good read.Published 14 months ago by Robbie
Beautifully written book, which gave me a background to post WWII India. The recipes are excellent as well. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Dee A. Cope
I didn't know quite what to expect with this book. Admittedly, I am not a fan of all things India & not a fan of India cuisine. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Susan G.