The Saffron Kitchen
By Yasmin Crowther
(Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670038114, 272pp.)
Publication Date: December 28, 2006
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In a powerful debut novel that moves between the crowded streets of London and the desolate mountains of Iran, Yasmin Crowther paints a stirring portrait of a family shaken by events from decades ago and worlds away. On a rainy day in London the dark secrets and troubled past of Maryam Mazar surface violently, with tragic consequences for her daughter, Sara, and her newly orphaned nephew. Maryam leaves her English husband and family and returns to the remote Iranian village where her story began. In a quest to piece their life back together, Sara follows her mother and finally learns the terrible price Maryam once had to pay for her freedom, and of the love she left behind. Set against the breathtaking beauty of two very different places, this stunning family drama transcends culture and is, at its core, a rich and haunting narrative about mothers and daughters.
1. The Middle East is very much in the news these days, and perhaps never before has it been more on the mind of Westerners. What issues did The Saffron Kitchen bring up for you, and did it change or influence your idea of Iran in any way?