BOOK REVIEW: ROSEWATER & SODA BREAD BY MARSHA MEHRAN

From Publishers Weekly
Mehran’s second novel (after Pomegranate Soup) resumes the story of three Iranian sisters making their lives anew in smalltown Ireland. Beautiful and creative Marjan Aminpour cares for her younger sisters, Bahar and Layla; together the three run Babylon Cafe, and few locals can resist its charms or the amiability of its proprietresses. Although Marjan rules the roost, her sisters have secrets of their own, and their growing independence forces Marjan to allow them their freedom and confront her own needs—especially after she meets handsome Julian Winthrop Muir. As Marjan gives her sisters more space, the suspicious and xenophobic local busybody Dervla Quigley remains determined to uncover whatever foul play the foreign women have up their sleeves. And when Marjan’s friend Estelle reveals that she has rescued and helped a drowning girl, Marjan becomes involved in a secret that soon has Dervla plotting their downfall. Gourmands will savor the foodie passages (recipes, of course, are included), while the sisters’ exploits will win over readers into lighter fare about making a new home and growing up.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

What I thought:
The book was a disappointment for me. The cover was misleading; I found it among the food books at the Exclusive Books sale. I expected it to have food stories, but the food seemed forced into the story; which is chick-lit, my least favourite genre.
The characters didn’t come alive for me and many aspects did not become clear as I hadn’t read Pomegranate Soup. The sub-plot of the rescued girl is implausible and the book ends with it clear that the author intends a sequel.

Following the book review style of Leeswammes’ blog:
Rating: 2/5 stars
I got this book: from Exclusive Books
I read this in: English
Number of pages: 325
First published: 2008
Genre: Fiction

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49 Comments Add yours

  1. Tilly Bud says:

    Read the first half, thought ‘I might read that’.

    Then I read your review. Thanks for the warning 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      It seems to be a popular seller, just not my personal cup of tea,

  2. Tandy says:

    it is so good to know what NOT to buy! Have a super weekend my friend xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      You too, Friday greets to David. xxx

  3. Tes says:

    I also love the book about food… since this is not, I know I shouldn’t buy them. But the cover is so pretty 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      It is very pretty, that what made it catch my attention.

  4. Sparky says:

    Sorry that the book was a dissapointment, atleast you got it on a sale. Imagine had someone recommended it and you have to give them feedback, hehe! I am looking forward to purchasing the Maya Angelou cookbook, I heard she has a story about everydish. You should consider one yourself since you write so eloquent(ly).

    1. theonlycin says:

      Oooh Sparky, thanks I didn’t know about the Angelou book, I will look out for it.

  5. granny1947 says:

    I seem to have missed something…when did you start doing book reviews?
    What fun!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I just decided that I will occasionally do reviews 🙂

  6. libraryscene says:

    Never heard of the book. Very nice set up…thanks for warning, chic-lit makes me itch ~

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, I itch too 😉

  7. mairedubhtx says:

    Thanks for the review. I’ll check out “Pomegranates” since I’m always looking for a god read. For a good food read, try “The Girl who Chased the Moon.” It has cakes recipes, which are part of the story.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ll look for it, thanks Fatima.

  8. Too bad it was a disappointment, I thought the blending of Iran and Ireland would have been more exciting. The style of story reminds me of a book I really liked though : “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel. I love South-American writers and Mexican cooking just as much. Thanks for the review Cin, I do hope you are feeling much better.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I loved that book too 🙂

  9. Jamie Dedes says:

    Thanks for the heads-up on this. It would be one I’d pick up for a variety of reasons, including the food connection. Don’t care for chick-lit either.

    1. theonlycin says:

      My pleasure, Jamie.

  10. nrhatch says:

    Sounds a “trifle” disappointing. 😦

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to OB!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Nancy, I’ll pass it on to her (your birthday greetings, not the book).

  11. I hate finishing bad books and the wandering why I did! X

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, waste of time 😦

  12. Linda says:

    Well then I will pass on this one if I ever come across it. Thanks for the review.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re welcome, Linda 🙂

  13. deepercolors says:

    Yeah, but the book (s) sell at least somewhat. Better than I have been able to do (so far). You have to give them that. Doesn’t sound like my kind of book either, though, not even the recipe part. thanks for the review.

    1. theonlycin says:

      The recipes are, for the most part, rather uninteresting.

  14. Sparky says:

    I meant you need to consider writing your own book too. Have a lovely evening and weekend!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am working on a book, Hon, hold thumbs that I get a publisher.

  15. Steffi says:

    Sounds like a great book!Have a nice weekend and enjoy it!

    1. theonlycin says:

      You too, Steffi 🙂

  16. dearrosie says:

    If this so-so book has sold so well does it mean the cover photo’s more important than the content?

    1. theonlycin says:

      I don’t know the answer, Rosie, seems each new print run has a different cover.

      1. dearrosie says:

        I wonder what’s on the cover of the American version!

      2. theonlycin says:

        I wonder too …

  17. Love this style of review, Cindy: it cuts straight to the chase. Won’t be going out to get this one, then.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I figure you would hate it, Kate.

  18. souldipper says:

    One to miss…refreshing to not have to add one to my “whenever” list.

  19. slpmartin says:

    Thanks for the waring….does sound very appealing.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Nope Charlie, one for you to give wide berth.

  20. Leeswammes says:

    Hurray, a book review! A pity the book wasn’t as good as you hoped. The cover looks very attractive for me and the story sounds fun, too. And chick-lit… I love that! 🙂

    But I think I would hope to read more about food than there seems to be. What a pity! I might still enjoy this, though.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You may enjoy it, Judith.

  21. bluebee says:

    “Never judge a book by it’s cover”, but, oh, how often we do

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, I must make a point of reading the cover blurb and dipping into books while I am in the store, instead of snatching them up and paying for them.

  22. Jamie Dedes says:

    … and this is where I came in. Glad you are feeling better, Cindy. Happy Birthday to your “dort.” Keep warm.

    Jamie

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for working through the posts so loyally, Jamie 🙂

  23. A pretty good review although I hate it when you didn’t enjoy a book. However, I think that if you didn’t enjoy it you should be able to say so instead of having to suck your thumb for something good to say and not mean it. It can be hard – as an author – to accept that not everyone will enjoy your writing (which, for me, is a rather personal thing) but the reality is different strokes for different folks. It is just the way it is. That way everyone has something to read and enjoy 🙂

    On the upside: at least you bought it on sale 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yep, that is an upside 😉

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