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The Mistress of Spices: A Novel Paperback – February 17, 1998
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From Library Journal
Divakaruni, author of the award-winning short story collection Arranged Marriage (Anchor, 1995), has crafted a fine first novel that makes a smooth transition to the audio format. Tilo, proprietress of the Spice Bazaar in Oakland, California, is not the elderly Indian woman she appears to be. Trained as a mistress of spices, she evokes the magical powers of the spices of her homeland to help her customers. These customers, mostly first- or second-generation immigrants, are struggling to adapt their Old World ideals to the unfamiliar and often unkind New World. Though trapped in an old woman's body and forbidden to leave the store, Tilo is unable to keep the required distance from her patrons' lives. Her yearning to join the world of mortals angers the spices, and Tilo must face the dire consequences of her disobedience. Divakaruni, whose conversational style translates well into audio, blends social commentary and romance into an eloquent novel of the human condition. With superb narration from Sarita Choudhury, this production is highly recommended for all fiction collections.?Beth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., Ohio
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
"An unusual, clever, and often exquisite first novel...The result is rather as if Isabel Allende met Laura Esquivel."
--Los Angeles Times
"Divakaruni's prose is so pungent that it stains the page, yet beneath the sighs and smells of this brand of magic realism she deftly introduces her true theme: how an ability to accommodate desire enlivens not only the individual heart but a society cornered by change."
--The New Yorker
"The Mistress of Spices is a dazzling tale of misbegotten dreams and desires, hopes and expectations, woven with poetry and storyteller magic."
"A splendid novel, beautifully conceived and crafted."
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Behind the obvious story of a woman inhabiting creaky bones and old dry skin, who has magical powers to heal, is an allegory: Of the heavy, sometimes cultural, shackles on women and how the ones with strong enough passions overcome them. In this case, it is forbidden love.
I might have given this a five if I had not read another book by the author:The Palace of Illusions: A Novel. To me, even better.
Sweetly written. I was just interested in the description of the spices and what they were used for.