Buchnummer des Verkäufers
Inhaltsangabe: On an autumn day in London, the dark secrets and troubled past of Maryam Mazar surface violently with tragic consequences for her pregnant daughter, Sara, and her newly orphaned nephew, Saeed. Racked with guilt, Maryam is compelled to leave the comfort of her suburban home and mild English husband to return to Mazareh, the remote Iranian village where her story began. There she must face her past and the memories of a life she was forced to leave behind when her father disowned her for a sin she did not commit, in the days when she was young, headstrong and beautiful.
Back in England, Sara takes care of Saeed and her distraught father as she tries to understand what has happened. Together they begin to unearth Maryam's story from their memories, fragments of conversation, photographs and a few lines of poetry. In her quest to piece their life back together, Sara follows her mother to Iran, to discover the roots of her unhappiness and to try to bring her home. Far from the terraced streets of London, among the snow-capped mountains and wind-swept plains that have haunted her mother's dreams for half a century, Sara finally learns the terrible price Maryam once had to pay for her freedom, and of the love she left behind.
A richly poetic and haunting narrative, The Saffron Kitchen tells of betrayal and retribution, of secrets that can lie undisturbed for decades without losing their power to harm, of the pain of exile and the difficult joy of homecoming.
Review: In The Saffron Kitchen, Yasmin Crowther has captured, with uncanny accuracy and grace, the deep confusion and conflict visited upon a mother and her daughter by their respective histories. The mother, Maryam, is an Iranian woman, daughter of a general and member of a well-respected family during the Shah's reign. When she became separated from her family at the start of the revolution and was sheltered chastely overnight by Ali, her father's servant, her life was forever changed. Disowned by her father, she moves to Tehran to become a nurse and then to London, where she meets and marries Edward, a fine and gentle man who adores her. When the story begins, their daughter, Sara, born in England, married to an Englishman, and ignorant of her mother's haunted history, is newly pregnant. When she miscarries, during a dramatic confrontation with her mother and her young Iranian cousin, years of secrets and pretending unravel at last.
Maryam decides to go to Iran, to distance herself from these events. What follows, in Crowther's revelatory manner, is a perfect portrayal of a half-life, one lived only on the surface. Maryam comes into her own when she goes back to her village; the sights, sounds, and smells all beckon to her with their sweet familiarity. England falls away, with all its confusing customs and strange language, as does Edward, with his so very different background. Beckoned by her mother, Sara comes to visit and to ferret out the particulars of her mother's past. The question remains: will Maryam return to Edward and England or stay where she is once again at home?
Crowther writes with great insight about attempting to cast off one's past--and the impossibility of doing so. The saffron kitchen of the title is a lovely evocation, both symbolic and actual, of what gets left behind and of one daughter's willingness to occupy both worlds. --Valerie Ryan
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