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Mangoes and Quince: A Novel Paperback – March 6, 2002
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“As her books grow in number on my shelf, so does my appreciation and admiration for Carol Field...” ―Alice Waters, author of the Chez Panisse Cookbook
“...an intensely felt, delicately written novel bursting with love and the pleasures of the senses.” ―Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama
“...a complex, fascinating, sensual read.” ―Lynn Freed, author of The Mirror
“An alluring fable of exotic places, sinister rites and delicious tastes of all kinds--complete with recipes.” ―Diane Johnson, author of Le Divorce
“Enticing...Mouthwateringly sensuous descriptions of food and its preparation” ―Booklist
“Juicy ...Mangoes and Quince is a book that makes you hungry while you read.” ―L.A. Times
“...beautifully evokes the frenetic pace of the kitchen...engaging, sensuous...” ―San Francisco Chronicle
“...a lusty fairy tale ripe with mystery, monkeys, sexuality and sensual food...[a] treasure chest of a book.” ―Seattle Times
“...mighty tasty...part mystery, part love story.” ―Portland Oregonian
“...a feast of the imagination...” ―San Jose Mercury News
“Carol Field has created a spicy brew of mystery and suspense” ―Dallas Morning News
About the Author
Carole Field is the author of In Nonna's Kitchen: Recipes and Traditions from Italy's Grandmothers, The Italian Baker, and Celebrating Italy. Mangoes and Quince is her first novel. She lives in San Francisco.
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The novel concludes with some very beautiful writing about the healing of the indifferent and strained relationships between mother and daughter. Field has a very profound knowledge of structuring sentences and using words to paint vivid mental and emotional images. So I felt that the reviews who dismiss her first novel out-of-hand are wildly missing the point. This is a highly gifted author who could probably achieve a certain level of artistry regardless of the genre she attempts. And I have to say that the spectacle of her descriptions of Miranda's restaurant and the various exotic dishes concocted will long stay in my memory. Oh to have a restaurant like this in my neighborhood <G>.
When Diana is still a preadolescent, Anton fails to return from his latest sea voyage. With the bills piling up and no income coming in, Miranda decides to take in borders. Soon her cooking skills become famous and many of the housewives start ordering her dishes. Over the next few years as Diana becomes a teen she misses her father. When Rotterdam anthropologist Max Madoqua learns about all the exotic items in Miranda's home that Anton brought home over the years, he makes an attempt to see them using Diana's father fixation as his avenue to the collection. With Max's prompting, Diana sneaks into her father's two special locked rooms to begin a quest to find out what happened to him.
MANGOES AND QUINCE is a period piece that centers on the deep characters, especially Miranda, Diana, and to a lesser degree Ria and indirectly Anton. The story line travels at a leisurely pace so that the reader can savor the feelings of the principal players. Not for action lovers, Carole Field has written an interesting family drama that will please those historical cozy fans. This is one of those rare books that belong on the keeper shelf
Field's writing style however is delicious and thouroughly enjoyed it. I am interested in readng her other work.