Saturday, October 11, 2008
I had grandiose plans yesterday for blogging and commenting, but wouldn't you know, I lost my internet connection for the day. Nuts. It's so hard for me to collect my thoughts when people (ie. my child) are in the house, but I'm going to give it a whirl.
I had an unexpectedly wonderful surprise this week when I picked up Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran. I was expecting (and hoping for) a light quick read, and while this was quick and light in parts, it was definitely deeper than I was expecting. This story opens when the three Aminpour sisters from Iran arrive in a small town in Ireland, Ballinacroagh, and begin to set up a cafe. The opening chapters were reminiscent of Maeve Binchey with their descriptions of small town Ireland and of people who are quirky, multi-faceted, and not always kind. I was reminded of Chocolat by Joanne Harris in the fabulous descriptions of cooking and food, the food sometimes seeming to intoxicate those who eat it. But Mehran makes this story all her own, because these sisters have come to Ireland for a reason, they have escaped from Iran during the revolution and each has their own memories and experiences to bear. Oldest sister Marjan is the mother-like cook, Bahar is the middle sister, tense and worried, and Layla is the youngest, still in high school, and lovely, with her whole life ahead of her. In Ballinacroagh, they meet the townspeople, some of whom are kind and supportive, others who wish to run them out of town. The Aminpour sisters are strong women and we learn of their struggles in Iran as they struggle to make a new life in Ireland.
I was really, really charmed by this book, I enjoyed the characters, the story, and the wonderful descriptions of food with accompanying recipes. It just so happens that there is a sequel, Rosewater and Soda Bread, and I am looking forward to the continuation of this story.