Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran

I loved this book despite, or maybe because of, its cardinal flaw.  Some of the characters are way over the top.  For example, the main villain is a big, strapping Irishman with a Mafia-complex (tries to run the town through blackmail, manipulation, and old fashioned bullying) who has a nymphomaniac wife and a secret dream to open a discotheque called Polyester Paddy’s.  🙂

It is the emotions of the three main characters Marjan, Bahar, and Layla that really carry this book.  They escaped the revolution in Iran, but not without experiencing its horrors, and paying a huge price.  Ironically, they escaped the very day the Ayatollah returned, though they were not aware of that until they were questioned upon arrival at Heathrow.

The other star of this book is the food.  Marjan has a true gift for creating wonderful, sensual culinary magic with traditional Persian fare.  As I finished the last page of Pomegranate Soup, I was smiling, anticipating reading its sequel, Rosewater and Soda Bread, and craving baklava.

Rating:  4.25 out of 5 stars


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