Eagle's Gate gThis book belongs on a Harleuin Mills Boon Bookshelf I Picked bookshelf I picked up expecting something uite different from the lukewarm and soggy story telling it contained Perhaps the author aiming for magic realism but ended up with a mishmash ofenres and not one that was well developed The story revolves around a woman who had a weird past that has no real connection to her present She inhabits an old body for no ood reason other than she might actually be that old the book meanders about the years and years spent here and there She is supposed to "adhere to some rules in order to keep her powers which are "to some rules in order to keep her powers which are the spice remedies for curing emotional maladies but when she breaks them her powers are not taken away in fact she might even be promoted for her intransigence It makes no sense not even symbolically In addition the reader loses all interest after the umpteenth convolution surrounding an old hag in a hole in the wall rocery storeShe falls for some dark haired American and the only reason the author seems to provide is that his clothes look expensive Despite being ood looking himself he loves for no apparent reason and not in a platonic way this old hag in rags And then he kisses her and has sex And then she turns curt with him in the typical self sacrificial mode common to romance novels But it all ends happily ever after though not for me as I was brain dead at that point The language is completely inane and the patois affected by the author leaves one cold Good idea poorly executed The poetic language lauded in other reviews is over the top and ets obnoxious uickly The author has an odd form of Tourrete s that makes her spit out similies eyes dark as a tropical night that aren t necessarily half bad but there are so many of them they begin to Who Is Muhammad Ali? grate The author follows The unimaginative trend Of chopping up sentences Into fragments In the name of art Which wasn t cool even the first time it was done By someone elseThe title character is put in an old woman s body for no real reason other than it seems the author thought an old crone tending a mystical spice shop seemed appropriate And that makes the Misty fragrant intoxicating mythical spicyI have read almost all books of Chitra Banerjee and each read makes me crave for her intriguing characters colorful stories and much are like bites from your faviorite dish which you eat one at a time so that the taste lasts forever holding me close to the book and I wish it never ends The best part about her books are the interesting character sketchesenerally a character has shades of black or white or a mixed Don't Worry, Eat Cake: A Coloring Book to Help You Feel a Little Bit Better about Everything grey but Chira s characters have all vibrant shades of red blue yellowreen purple mustard plum brown and all colors seen or unseen but felt To read visit my blog I picked the book up on a secondhand book sale and was intrigued by the spices which in retrospect should have been the protagonists in the tale But I always enjoyed the magic flavors of the huge Asian spice markets in South Africa where it is exhibited in heaps and weighed on ancient scales The memories of oing to the Indian markets on a Saturday morning buying flowers fruit vegetables and magical spices combined with an everlasting curiosity about other cultures and stories ot me bowing to the will of The Mistress of Spices The book yelled at me to buy it so to speak and I racefully surrendered You ve ot to believe a little bit in magic and fairy tales for this book But there is enough realism embedded in the story to keep you captured Add a cup of mysticism and a few pinches of romance and you ve A Secret Kept got the Spice shop in Oakland California From the outside it is just another shop from an old Indian immigrant lady selling them However it is soon clear that these spices are not only the exotic culinary delights of the Indian cuisine that we loveThe lady of the shop s story begins in India a few centuries before where she is born as Nayan Tara not the prettiest of the children aifted child who dominates the household since her magic powers enriches the family in their small village near the river She has difficult relationships with her family and wishes to remove herself from the situation She is kidnapped by pirates who soon submit themselves to her control calling her their ueen She lands up on an island where she becomes an apprentice Mistress of Spices Her name changes to Tila She et to know the secret powers of spices and that she will only be able to use those powers if she submits to the will of the spicesIt is with this name that she transcends into the modern world and opens the rocery shop in OaklandThere were strict rules in keeping her magic powers She knows that A ood hand is not too light nor too heavy Light hands are the wind s creatures flung this way and that at its whim Heavy hands pulled downward by their own weight have no spirit They are only slabs of meat for the maggots waiting underground She was to not only serve and assist the immigra. Una vecchia signora indiana in una botteguccia di Oakland California con le sue mani nodose sfiora polveri e semi foglie e bacche alla ricerca del sapore più suisito o del sortilegio più sottile E' Tilo la Maga delle Spezie La sua. Ryline was unusual but almost as unexpected for me was to see Oakland as a city with interesting neighborhood characters not just as an ugly crime capital that I drive through only if I absolutely have to or if I miss the 680 turnoff and et stuck on 880 Anyway I thought this book was as delightful as it was intriguing Oh dear whatever one says is The Ancient Greeks: Ten Ways They Shaped the Modern World going to sound like damnation via faint praise Yes this is magical realism no it isn t as accomplished as the best examples in thatenre Yes it is an occasionally beguiling love story no it isn t without its languors and flat spots Yes the end in without its languors and flat spots Yes the end in keeps one turning pages to see what happens no it isn t uite as moving and powerful as this reader hoped it would be Entertaining enjoyable not life changing I felt the strongest passages weren t the magical realist touches but Tilo s everyday interactions with the largely Indian American clientele she serves I felt the least believable least convincing material was that having to do with Raven s back story In a way I almost longed for a straight up realist novel something along the lines of Sister of My Heart that focused on this woman and her community I absolutely adored this book I ve read it about ten times since I first ot my hand on it and it s been a companion all through puberty and the rocky university years What s funny then is that it took me so long to realise what this book is really about and what it was that drew me to it First up the writing is like jewels on a page She evokes such beautiful imagery and a wonderful magical universe just with her words one cannot help but be swept away in its beauty Secondly it s sort of an allegory for a woman who is trying to marry two cultures together Or perhaps this another layer that I saw when I was oing through some similarly tough circumstancesI uess it doesn t really matter I identified with the central conflict of this book s main character I felt her pain and frustration and anger from the moment I picked up the book and I believe this is Divakaruni s real ift the ability to create magic with words I have noticed that a few of her other books tend to Let Freedom Reign': The Words of Nelson Mandela. Henry Russell get weighed down with the language For example Sister of my Heart Vine of Desire and Arranged Marriage all of these books are incredibly sad and downright draining to read The language is just as beautiful and evocative but perhaps overdone In Mistress of Spices she really seems to hit her stride and the balance is spot on Sorry this review is a bit all over the place but TL DR I loved it and would recomment it to most people I nominated this for my f2f bookroup because I was curious The author lives in Houston and is a friend of a friend I was expecting a relatively simple domestic novel but was pleasantly surprised to find a dazzlingly original example of magical realismThe main character doesn t even have a stable name It changes as her life changes first she s Nayan Tara the disappointing Paper Crafts Magazine: Joy of Card Making (Leisure Arts girl child who s ugly the color of mud but who has psychicifts that make the family s fortune in a small village on a river in India She Path to Sanity: Lessons from Ancient Holy Counselors on How to Have A Sound Mind grows up impatient and sullen from all the attention and wills pirates to comes and take her away That happens and she becomes the ueen of the pirates for a while until she travels to the island to meet the First Mother to whom she apprentices herself as a Mistress of Spices taking the name Tila As the novel ends she takes yet another nameThe novel opens with Tila an old dark skinned and wrinkled woman the mistress of spices who runs a small Indianrocery in Oakland CA She listens to the stories of the Indian immigrants who are her customers and prescribes the appropriate spices to ameliorate their problems But she s a rebel and impatient She can t be satisfied following the rules staying inside the store always listening and dispensing advice and spices but not interfering There s the taxi driver who Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus gets involved with shady characters the bride whose husband beats her the young boy who findsang members to protect him from bullies in school in exchange for keeping and delivering mysterious packages there s the Rudram in Tamil grandfather whose family rejects the daughter who is in love with a Mexican fellow student Tila disobeys the spices exceeds her mission byoing out and etting involved in people s lives About the same time a handsome American turns up in her shop eventually tells his story and a strange love affair develops Using the most powerful of the spices Tila turns herself into a beauty for one day with the Raven as the American calls himselfUnbelievably the story is concluded satisfactorily on both the mythical and the realistic levels The style is original and inviting the first third of the novel so sucked me in that I literally couldn t stop reading Magical realism spices and a rebellious heroine It had all the right ingredients but the first half ave me a feeling of something amiss The second half was racy but the ending was too contrived. Terà di aiutare chi come lei si è lasciato l'India alle spalle Nella Bottega della Maga dunue sfilano vite e desideri fatiche e speranze d'immigrati e le spezie con i loro mille minuscoli occhi scrutano ogni esto della loro signor.
ELibro or PDF The Mistress of Spices ç Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni