Pomegranate Soup

Marsha Mehran, Author . Random $24.95 (222p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6241-6

Beautiful strangers bring exotic recipes to town in Mehran's foodie-lit debut. The Irish hamlet of Ballinacroagh is the unlikely new home for three Iranian sisters and their new Babylon Cafe. Twenty-seven-year-old Marjan, the most skilled in the kitchen; Bahar, the tentative middle sister; and Layla, the charming teenager, fled the Iranian revolution and, after some years in London, have arrived determined to succeed. Initially wary natives soon fall under the spell of the cafe's cardamom- and rosewater-scented wonders, with kindly Estelle Delmonico (the stereotyped Italian widow who formerly owned the storefront) and friendly Father Mahoney leading the pack. But town bully Thomas McGuire, who loathes "feckin' foreigners," and gossip Dervla Quigley, who thinks "they're all sluts," will do anything to drive the sisters away. As Marjan cements alliances through her recipes and Layla falls in love with McGuire's son, Bahar continues to be troubled by the violence in her past. Can the provincial Irish welcome the "foreigners"? Will the sisters triumph? But of course! Mehran's mauve prose gets especially purple sometimes (Layla feels love "like the ecstatic cries of a pomegranate as it realized the knife's thrust"), but fans of Chocolat and other cooking-overcomes-cultural-differences stories will savor the tale, not to mention the 13 recipes, including one for pomegranate soup. Agent, Adam Chromy . (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
Open Ebook - 136 pages - 978-0-307-43163-9
Paperback - 389 pages - 978-0-09-947892-8
Paperback - 299 pages - 978-0-7862-7598-4
Paperback - 237 pages - 978-0-8129-7248-1
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4070-9830-2
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