Sunday, April 27, 2008

Celestial Seasonings' Book Club Names a New Book

A few months ago, I blogged about Adventure at Every Turn, a Celestial Seasonings Book Club here. Two of my passions are drinking tea and reading books, so it was a sure thing that I would be joining this book club and following their selections. Just a few days ago, I received an e-mail announcing their new book. This time it's POMEGRANATE SOUP by Marsha Mehran. I wasn't familiar with this book; but after reading the summary, I think I'll be adding it to my ever-increasing TBR pile.

Summary: Beneath the holy mountain Croagh Patrick, in damp and lovely County Mayo, sits the small, sheltered village of Ballinacroagh. To the exotic Aminpour sisters, Ireland looks like a much-needed safe haven. It has been seven years since Marjan Aminpour fled Iran with her younger sisters, Bahar and Layla, and she hopes that in Ballinacroagh, a land of “crazed sheep and dizzying roads,” they might finally find a home.

From the kitchen of an old pastry shop on Main Mall, the sisters set about creating a Persian oasis. Soon sensuous wafts of cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron float through the streets–an exotic aroma that announces the opening of the Babylon CafĂ©, and a shock to a town that generally subsists on boiled cabbage and Guinness served at the local tavern. And it is an affront to the senses of Ballinacroagh’s uncrowned king, Thomas McGuire. After trying to buy the old pastry shop for years and failing, Thomas is enraged to find it occupied–and by foreigners, no less.

But the mysterious, spicy fragrances work their magic on the townsfolk, and soon, business is booming. Marjan is thrilled with the demand for her red lentil soup, abgusht stew, and rosewater baklava–and with the transformation in her sisters. Young Layla finds first love, and even tense, haunted Bahar seems to be less nervous.

And in the stand-up-comedian-turned-priest Father Fergal Mahoney, the gentle, lonely widow Estelle Delmonico, and the headstrong hairdresser Fiona Athey, the sisters find a merry band of supporters against the close-minded opposition of less welcoming villagers stuck in their ways. But the idyll is soon broken when the past rushes back to threaten the Amnipours once more, and the lives they left behind in revolution-era Iran bleed into the present.

Infused with the textures and scents, trials and triumph,s of two distinct cultures, Pomegranate Soup is an infectious novel of magical realism. This richly detailed story, highlighted with delicious recipes, is a delectable journey into the heart of Persian cooking and Irish living. - random house

Let me know if this book looks interesting to you or if you've already read it! I'd love to hear what you think.


Andi said...

I love the idea of a Celestial Seasonings encouraging people to read. . . and while I haven't heard of this book, it does sound like a good one. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of that book before, but think the cover art is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I've read it and I'd recommend it. There's a touch of magical realism in the story. Each chapter starts with a recipe...there's a recipe for baklava that I swear I'm going to make someday and is why I refuse to give up my copy of the book. Have you read Garden Spells? Totally different books, but I think if you like one you'd like the other.

Julie P. said...

I really enjoyed GARDEN SPELLS! I can't wait to read this one!